The Nigerian authorities, especially the Department of State Services (DSS) have been accused of masterminding the arrest of a former negotiator between relatives of the victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train attack and the terrorists, Malam Tukur Mamu, in Cairo, Egypt while waiting for a connecting flight to Saudi Arabia by members of his family.
They recalled that Mamu had repeatedly complained that his life was being threatened which among others;made him to stop being a negotiator.
According to a family source; Mamu who is the publisher of Kaduna based Desert Herald newspaper and media consultant to Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, sent a message thus: “I’m on my way to Madina Saudi Arabia when they stopped me at Cairo Airport under the Nigerian Government Order. Nothing was found in my possession. So I’m sure the DSS officials are waiting for me at the Kano Airport.”
” I don’t have anything to hide and like I said I’m not afraid of them (DSS). I swear to God I’m not afraid of them. I just want the world to know of what is happening,;” he said.
“The Nigerian government wanted me to be detained there like what happened to Sunday Igboho so that it will be worse for me to return.
” But they (Egyptians ) said my papers and all documents were correct and that they can only send me back home because of their Interpol agreement with Nigeria.,” he alleged.
Tukur Mamu who was said to be in the company of some of his family members on the trip was expected to arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the Head, Special Projects, Desert Herald Newspaper, Ibrahim Mada has described the arrest of the publisher of the weekly newspaper, Malam Tukur Mamu as outright intimidation and harassment by the Federal Government.
The management staff also accused the Federal government of contriving the arrest and deportation of Mamu from Egypt.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mada said, “In its efforts to intimidate and harass the publisher of Desert Herald newspaper, Malam Tukur Mamu, the Federal Government has surreptitiously contrived the arrest and deportation of the publisher as well as members of his family while on their way to the holy land for lesser Hajj.
“On the 5th September 2022, Mamu alongside his family planned the journey to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser Hajj.
“They travelled through Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport and departed exactly at 2:00pm aboard Egypt Airlines.
“They are expected to return to Nigeria on 20th September 2022.
“Immediately after their departure, we received credible information that men and officers of NIA had stormed the airport with intent to stop him from travelling.
“But their attempt to frustrate the journey was not successful as he has already left the airport en route Cairo. But in their desperation to expound a pound of flesh, they forcefully retrieved copies of his travelling documents from immigration.
“On arrival in Cairo, Malam Tukur Mamu and family members were arrested and detained for almost 24 hours and later deported back to Nigeria on the strict request and instructions of Nigeria government.
“Mallam Tukur Mamu is a responsible citizen who voluntary engaged in negotiations that led to release of about 20 passengers of the I’ll fated train hijacked by gunmen.
“His patriotic mission to ensure the safety of the hapless passengers made him a target of blackmail by unscrupulous elements in the government who are hell-bent on punishing him for this noble but dangerous sacrifice for the fatherland. Such threats and intimidations have forced him to reveal on a number of times that his life was under serious threat.
“Due to numerous threats to his life and conspiracy from the side of security agents to frame him, he withdrew from the said negotiations but from his latest sojourn, it appears that those who are desperately braying for his head are still hell-bent on carrying out their odious dastardly plans.
“But it is our fervent hope that the evil machination of these disparate elements will be nixed by the fact that Allah is always by the side of the oppressed. This evil machination like the ones before it, shall also come to pass”.
Meanwhile, the DSS has confirmed that arrest and deportation of Mamu.
In a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by the Public Relations Officer, National Headquarters, Peter Afunanya, said the act followed a request by Nigeria’s Military, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country.
The statement read;”The Department of State Services (DSS) has been inundated with enquires in respect of the arrest or otherwise of Tukur Mamu, the self-acclaimed Kaduna Train hostage negotiator.
“This is to confirm that Mamu, as a person of interest, was intercepted by Nigeria’s foreign partners at Cairo, Egypt on 6th September, 2022 while on his way to Saudi Arabia. He has since been returned to the country, today, 7th September, 2022 and taken into the Service’s custody.
“The act followed a request by Nigeria’s Military, Law Enforcement and Intelligence Community to their foreign partners to bring back Mamu to the country to answer critical questions on ongoing investigations relating to some security matters in parts of the country.
“The public may wish to note that the law will appropriately take its course”.