AMNESTY FOR MAJOR MUSTAPHA

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The African Renaissance Party[ARP] calls on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to tamper justice with mercy and to grant Major Hamza Al-Mustapha immediate and unconditional amnesty. The party notes that major Mustapha has been incacerated form the time of General Abdulsalami Abubakar as the Head of State of Nigeria, through the long years of General Olusegun Obasanjo and the late President Umaru Ya’Adua and even through the period of the acting presidency of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

That major Mustapha was incacerated by the Nigerian justice system as a young man but is now in the danger of becoming an old man without being adjudged either guilty or innocent of the crimes for which he is being tried is a pathetic shame and an affront to natural justice, equity and good conscience.

Surely, a nation that granted amnesty to militants of the Niger Delta can find it within itself to grant amnesty to Mustapha after more then 11 years of incaceration and separation from his family. A system of justice that hold a man for more than 11 years still trying crimes he is alleged to have committed under a legitimate military government that he was serving as a soldier without declaring him guilty or innocent leaves much to be desired to say the least, raises fundamental issues of jurisprudence and undermines the traditions of the military establishment as a whole and leaves the citizens of the nation in bewilderment.

The president’s names are Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Though both Goodluck and Jonathan are english names and not indigenous names to Nigeria, Ebele is an indigenous name, an Igbo name to be prescise , meaning mercy…..we call on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to act in tandem with his middle , Nigerian and African name’Ebele’ and show mercy/ebele on major Hamza Al-Mustapha and to grant him immediate and unconditional amnesty. We implore the President to remember a maxim central to his religion which says–Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Indeed, both islam and christianity, the two religions to which belong an overwhelmning majority of the ruling elites of our country, who have governed Nigeria from independence to the present day, lay much emphasis on the need to show mercy to those in need of it. Why is it then that our ruling elites have consistently demonstrated mercilessness in all their dealings with the rest of us?

There has been a raging argument as to whether the contact of indigenous ethnic nationalities that make up the modern day Nigeria had with European, nay, the English was a civilizing or de-civilizing experience. There is no evidence of the kind and manner of inhumanity and injustice that characterises the legal system operational in modern Nigeria anywhere in the histories of any of our indigenous ethnic nationalities. So, where does this inhumanity, even demonism that we demonstrate in our dealings with each other in today’s Nigeria emenate from?

The African Renaissance Party[ARP] calls on all traditional and religious leaders in Nigeria, on all civil and human rights organisations, all youth organisations,the Nigerian students union, the Nigerian Labour Congress and on all well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government of Nigeria and on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to grant immediate and unconditional amnesty to Major Hamza Al-Mustapha.

Let us all realise that even if major Mustapha was found to be fully guilty of the crimes for which he is charged, that no crime is beyond pardon in Nigeria. Our history even records the case of a former Head of State who was found guilty of treason, but was later pardoned. So what makes the case of major Mustapha so unpardonable?

Alhaji Yahaya Ndu
National Chairman
African Renaissance Party[ARP].

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