If a man kills the native doctor that gives him protection, what happens to him when his enemies strike? Now that Mamu, the middle-man has been arrested, who will bell the cat? What is the fate of the remaining abductees?
By Moses Okorie
The arrest and subsequent detention of Mr. Tukur Mamu, the publisher of Desert Herald Newspaper can only attract a mixed feeling; is the man a patriot of Nigeria who stood in the gap for the release of March 28, 2022 victims of attacked Abuja-Kaduna train or did he actually benefit from activities of the dare-devil terrorists cum kidnappers.
Mamu, who negotiated the release of some of the kidnapped victims, was recently arrested in Cairo, capital of Egypt, on his way to attend the Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia, and was repatriated to Nigeria and he is now in custody of the Department of State Service (DSS) who has also secured court order to keep him for 60 days while investigations continue.
His house was searched and according to the DSS, it recovered incriminating materials at the residence. DSS spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said appropriate security agencies executed the search warrant.
He stated in Abuja on Thursday that incriminating materials recovered included military accoutrements, large amounts of different currencies in different denominations and financial transaction instruments. Afunanya assured that Mamu would have his day in court to defend himself.
Contrary to the DSS’ claim, on August 31, 2022, the acting chairman of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Alhassan Sule, who was one of the victims of the attacked Kaduna train, said Mr. Tukur Mamu did not know the terrorists, but was only involved to mediate between the Boko Haram fighters and the government in order to secure their freedom.
He stated this in Abuja on Kakaaki The African Voice, a programme of the Africa Independent Television (AIT), where he recounted how the train was attacked, people killed and they had to trek for three days before they got to the terrorists’ abode.
Narrating his ordeal, he said the Boko Haram fighters actually attacked the train to send a message to the government over eight of their fighters who were arrested, so that the government should release them.
He said after a while months in the abductors’ den, five of them decided to take the risk of meeting and dialoguing with the terrorists’ leader, and that was the beginning of their way to freedom.
“Some of us requested to see their leader, they took us to him; I had to massage his ego. I told him that before now, I used to hear that they are heartless people who suck human blood, but we can see that it is not true, but they are only defending their religion. When I told him that, he was happy and ready to listen to us.
“I requested that he should free some of us so that we can discuss with the government to comply with their demands, but they sensed danger and said we should rather involve a journalist, and that is why Tukur Mamu was contacted. He never knew them.
“We gave them phone numbers of five journalists, and out of the five, only Mamu responded to them. They contacted Manu and he told them to film us to show that we are still alive so as to enable him start the negotiation. That was the first video; I was the person standing in that video.”
Dr. Sule also said he could have given the terrorists the phone number of Ordinary Ahmed Isa of Human Rights Radio so as to interface between the terrorists and the government, but his phone was already ceased by their abductors and he could not remember the number off-hand.
An adage has this to ask, “If a man kills the native doctor that gives him protection, what happens to him when his enemies strike?” Now that Mamu the middle-man has been arrested, who will bell the cat? What is the fate of the remaining abductees?
The question that comes to mind now is at what time did Mamu become a benefactor of terrorists’ activities? It is obvious that the security agents and the court will have to conduct more indepth investigation so that an innocent person does not suffer in the course of doing right.
• Okorie is an Abuja-based journalist and can be reached on 07054657334.