Alhaji Abdulrahman Mohammed, is a former National Security Organisation, NSO (Now DSS) Chief and close ally of ex-military leaders: late Generals Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Sani Abacha and former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida. In this interview, he reveals deadly plots going on within the inner circle of President Buhari’s government, which will ultimately lead a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babagana Gingibe to succeed the President after the 2019 polls, which he claims will end inconclusive.
He spoke more on this and more in this interview conducted by KENNY ASHAKA in Kaduna.
Let’s talk about June 12. I know that some of you worked with former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida…
(Cuts in) And Abacha. I was very close to Abacha.
Okay, but what I know is that some of you were in the transition programme of Babangida…
(Cuts in) Definitely, definitely. I was the Adviser on Politics, Economy and Security to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, the late Wazirin Jema’a.
Yes and what happened that you couldn’t stop the annulment of a transition that was almost coming to an end at that time? Was it something that was beyond your powers?
It had already been…if you observed from what happened in the Jos SDP primary, it was something that has to do with Babagana Kingibe, Abiola and Atiku that brought about all the issues. You remember Pascal Bafyau, the NLC President who became a politician. He played a lot of Babangida’s game during that time, used NLC…you know it was an elongated transition programme that was designed if possible to make Babangida till the time he was going to…
(Cuts in) I don’t understand.
Now you know NLC has a lot of role to play in supporting a government? Pascal Bafyau played the game for Babangida at that time just like Oshiomhole did. Pascal Bafyau was a pro-Babangida man. So Babangida tried to pay him back by insisting that he should be the presidential running mate of Abiola. So it was because Abiola refused to announce Pascal Bafyau as his running mate and chose Babagana Kingibe instead that caused the annulment of June 12. Abiola had been told by Babangida in my presence that if he did not take Pascal Bafyau…anyway we were following what was happening in Jos during the SDP primary on our satellite programme. We knew every move that was taken, everything that happened there because my boss, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was in SDP. You know he was my former boss. I worked with Yar’Adua as Security Detail in charge of International Security Surveillance. You know our predicament in Nigeria today is because they think that Nigeria is one local government that anybody can be president and manipulate the way you like. We are in the world. At the time America and Israel said they were going to deal with Buhari on certain issues that were happening to Christians in Nigeria I warned Buhari. I was on Facebook and Whatsapp. I warned some of the service chiefs that I know that the American and Israeli consortium will ensure they break Buhari’s government until Buhari will leave the place.
Let’s go back to the real subject matter of the June 12. Why was it impossible for those of you who were civilians working with Babangida to stop the annulment; I mean you were Adviser to a key figure in the government?
It was an agenda already promised that just happened like that because Babangida had already promised Abiola that if you don’t pick Bafyau…Babangida was not in our team. We have a record of everybody. You know that was where my section is. I was a security chief and now having served the defunct NSO as a Director in terms of security surveillance, in terms of interrogation I have to be involved in logistics. I made sure I had to advise them on logistics to make sure that there was no black sheep in the entire arrangement and it was necessary for me to be able to say what is right and what is wrong. It was necessary for us to have information on every human being that was a player in the national scene at that time.
So it was easily conceivable that I had to put on General Babangida’s table everything that was happening in Nigeria. I had to put a tab on Babagana Kingibe as an NSO director and I had to put a tab on Abiola because part of the Abiola’s successes in the North was because of me actually because I talked to the people in Kano to make sure that Abiola…because Babangida actually wanted Abiola to be president; I must tell you honestly. You know the reason why I played a very strong role in the June 12 issue…at least you were one of the reporters that got close to me at that time. Henry Ugbolue and Ojudu were always reporting me at that time. They were reporters close to me reporting everything I was doing at that time.
I am very interested in this next question because you have just said Babangida was interested in Abiola becoming the president.
Why did he annul the election that he (Abiola) was winning?
This is because Abiola refused to make Pascal Bafyau his running mate. But your answer now is contrary to what made the rounds then that some military chiefs were those who instigated Babangida to annul the election because they didn’t want Abiola.
That one came later. Don’t believe that. Are you talking of this Benue man who was in Minna, David Mark? Those were the people who were doing that. I was in charge of security. I and General Akilu were in charge of security; I as NSO chief and Akilu in charge of Intelligence. Don’t believe all these things. People try to say what they want to say because they have stepped out. That is why Babangida has told us that anything we can do to save Nigeria while in retirement we should please do it. I went to Yar’Adua straight and told him to support Babangida’s action that was about to come out because they had betrayed our cause because Babagana Kingibe can never be a Vice-President any day in Nigeria because he has betrayed Nigeria too much.
How did he betray Nigeria?
Because…everything he did was to break Nigeria for his own purpose. We knew this. We had this in our security file. I was in charge of Special Survey because you know like in America the CIA was in charge of Special Survey. That is the word I can use for it because we do not have it in Nigeria but we have it in Washington, in the Pentagon.
What did you find wrong with Babagana Kingibe?
Listen to me. This interview will not take too long. There is one interview that someone gave last week – the betrayal of Kingibe, how Kingibe betrayed Nigeria by Ray Ekpu. He had a full interview on the betrayal of Nigeria by Babagana Kingibe. Everything I can tell you now is there. I read it in the night because I got a phone call from Minna. I read it and made sure that it was alright. You remember Ayu, the Senate President and Ameh Ebute? These were people who were handling the National Assembly because we had a dual government. We had a Military President and a legislature that was operating like…It was when Babangida left that he told me to please guide Abacha very well. That was why the first thing I told Abacha was to dissolve the National Assembly. That’s why all Generals in Nigeria will tell you that Mohammed Abdulrahman was with Abacha when all these things happened. So we had to dissolve the National Assembly because it served no good.
I talked to Shonekan and Kuforiji Olubi. Kuforiji Olubi was my friend. You know the role she played; didn’t you?
What role did she play?
The Interim National Government. It was Shonekan who was president. Kuforiji Olubi was Minister for Interior, actually Minister for Commerce and National Economy just like Okonjo Iweala was Minister in charge of the economy even though she was Minister for Finance. In our own time it was Kuforiji that I called and I told her to get ready to make sure that the Interim National Government survived. That is why we decided with Aliyu Jem’a, the Secretary to the Government to have a transition committee which was headed by this Jurist, Mamman Nasir from Katsina.
He headed the Transition Implementation Committee. Then my foster father, Abdulrahman Okene headed the committee in charge of Devolution of Powers between Federal, States and Local Government. You remember that? So when we did all that and gave them their letters of appointment Aliyu Mohammed reported back to Babangida that we had already executed the issue and Kuforiji Olubi was doing our bidding. But when within the military hierarchy it was discovered that there were people who feel they had a dream to be president of Nigeria, Danjuma and Abacha were the only ones that were left out because Obasanjo, Babangida, all these people were in the same group and the same thing. I served all of them as the NSO component of the military regime. So, internally they had a plan that Abacha should become Head of State. We had no control over that plan because you can see that the coup that brought in Abacha was a quiet one, not even one that qualified to be called a coup. Abacha told me to keep faith with him.
That is why I was the closest security chief to him. All the messages…you know when Abacha almost died and he was very ill he sent me personally to Buhari. I went to Buhari, we sat down. He said we should eat, I said no. If the C-in-C sends me I don’t eat in people’s houses. But I made sure the NSO…sorry no more NSO because I wrote the document in which it was transited to SSS and other things to water it down for the civilian dispensation.
So I called the SSS chief in Kaduna to accompany me to Buhari’s house. He received me quite okay. I gave him the document with which Abacha was going to read the Vision 2010 national address because he was very ill. That Vision 2010 address was to make Buhari the Chairman of Vision 2010 so that if he made him the chairman at his best he could easily announce an Interim National Government and make Buhari the president.
Was that the plan?
That was the plan. Mohammed Abdulrahman is telling you today. I am the only one in Nigeria who can tell you that because I was in charge. So that was what we did and I told Abacha that Buhari gave me one week to come back that he was going to look into it. I cannot tell Buhari that we wanted to make him Interim National President. You know the reason we wanted to do that? We wanted Buhari to clean up Nigeria for us with his own handle because his presidency was truncated.
So we wanted to give him another chance. If it is true that he was actually going to deny it, he should leave the PTF and handle the Interim National Government. But I will tell you what happened. My operatives came up with results and findings that they were planning to make Buhari a president through this entire route of the CPC and…
I don’t understand that? Can you come again?
Okay, let me break it down for you. You remember that Ashwey became the Managing Director of Continental Merchant Bank at that time; the bank that was opposite Leventis? Because it was a strategic location Abacha had shown intention to purchase the building. But Ashwey sold it to Salihijo Ahmad of PTF because they wanted to use it for Buhari for President Campaign Organisation. That is why Abacha told me to move against them.
That is why we interviewed Salihijo. We called him in and investigated PTF. After leaving our place for debriefing, Salihijo went to his office and said he was going home because he had headache and the wife told him to go to the hospital and see the doctor. He was waiting to see the doctor when he slumped and died.
When I investigated and got my facts right, we first of all detained Ashwey and we debriefed Salihijo. That is why he died. We don’t debrief anybody and he stays alive. I am telling you this because we had enough spiritual powers to back our official power to make sure that anybody who lies to us or lies about us does not live in this world again because we wanted to deliver Nigeria properly. And the ritualists and liars were too many. We had to even invite some of the Israeli security to help us plan what we were going to do at a certain stage. I am sure you heard at that time that Abacha had already forgiven Israel and started a relationship with the Israeli government. I was the one who went to Tel Aviv with a group of top military officers and some civilians to negotiate our recognizing Israel. We felt that was good for Christians and we recognized OIC at the same time. That was what we did to balance it.
We did for Christians and did for Muslims. So the issue is this. I called Ray Ekpu for releasing the betrayal of Nigeria by Babagana Kingibe; that he should never have been in the list of this June 12 thing that Buhari did. Whether it is wrong now or not, I am not going to say it.
Posterity will judge that and Nigerians will react to it. There is excitement of course because Abiola was badly treated. And Abiola talked to me. You know I was the intermediary between Abiola and Aliyu Mohammed, Wazirin Jema’a, the Secretary to the Government and Wazirin Jema’a, the Secretary to the Government was the intermediary between Abiola and Babangida. What I deliver to Aliyu is what he discusses with Babangida on Abiola because we didn’t want a direct link that the media will look into concerning the relationship and communication between IBB my boss and Abiola. You understand. I hope you are getting it now? So the issue is very simple. We did not expect Babagana Kingibe to be running mate to Abiola because…and of course he betrayed him. Have you read some of the things that happened between the June 12 annulment and now from Babagana Kingibe?
He stood by Abacha. I was there with Abacha.
Babagana was there with us with Abacha. Buhari was there with us with Abacha. After they had refused to work with the document that I delivered to him from Abacha when I came back the following week with the SSS director of Kaduna, he escorted me, he gave me back the document and said he was not interested.
Buhari who we wanted to make the Interim President. He was waiting for us maybe we will tell him we wanted to make him Interim President. My style is not like that. That was why you heard what happened that he jumped over his fence into the valley around his house and escaped in the night when security took over his house and disarmed all the SSS people that were serving him and broke into his sitting room. By that time he had already jumped over his fence into the valley there. You didn’t hear that?
Who jumped over the fence?
Buhari. Yes in his house on Sultan road.
Why would he do that and why were they after him?
Because he had refused Abacha’s proposal to be president. Nobody refuses Abacha. Even when Buhari was in power nobody refuses him. Hakimi Sokoto died because Buhari refused to allow him have access to medical attention when Buhari was in power. I am talking of Wazirin Sokoto then. That was why when Buhari was in detention and his mother got sick and died they refused to allow him go.
But when the mother died they released him. Now what are your thoughts about this recognition given to Abiola by Buhari?
It was ultimately going to happen, my brother. All the presidents that have passed… Goodluck Jonathan asked for my opinion on this when he was president. I told him to call Abiola’s son and discuss with him. Then he called Kola Abiola. You know I was on retirement and was not a member of Goodluck Jonathan’s government. Was it not your paper that treated about five pages of what happened with ACF and Northern Traditional Leaders on my exposition on paradigm shift that we profiled to make sure that Goodluck Jonathan becomes president? Didn’t you interview me at that time? The issue is very simple. If Buhari doesn’t play ball in his own government he shouldn’t expect anybody to play ball in their own government. Now, the June 12 issue. There are legal and constitutional procedures, which he has flouted. My old colleague because he is much older than me, himself, Pius Okigbo, Rotimi Williams, all of them we were together. I was the youngest on the Committee of Concerned Citizens. You have the list of the committee members with Yadudu, Hamza Zayyad. Justice Bello, former Chief Justice was once the Chairman, Rotimi Williams, Akintola Williams were all in the 32-member team that they said was going to save Nigeria. I was the youngest of them all.
So how illegal is what Buhari has just done?
After this interview I will search my IT library what this man, that legal luminary, Ben Nwabueze who was also a member of the Concerned Citizens Committee said. Nwabueze gave a treatise on Buhari’s mistake.
I have it. You must have read it too.
So what is the mistake?
I will send it to you in the next one hour.
Read it and incorporate it into this interview if you want to because there are procedures on all these issues. Look the first problem that Buhari has in dealing with the issue of June 12 is that when Buhari came to power he was excited. He rolled out decrees to make sure that even Journalists that even reported the truth was going to face death sentence. Do you remember that? In that decree there were some that had to do with making sure that all actions taken by his military regime cannot be undone.
Buhari is the one who promulgated that decree and I had the privilege of seeing Idiagbon to tell him to be careful and that what Buhari has done was going to catch up with him.