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I Arrested Buhari in 1985, Not Dasuki



Sequel to the story making rounds that former NSA to President Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, was the leader of the team that arrested President Muhammadu Buhari during the 1985 coup, Abdulmumini Aminu has revealed the identities of the three majors.

Speaking to Daily Trust in an interview published on Sunday, Aminu, who retired as a colonel in 1993, said it was a three-man team which he led that arrested the then head of state, with the others being Lawan Gwadabe and John Madaki.

This revelation runs contrary to reports that the team was made up of Dasuki, Aminu, Gwadabe and Abubakar Umar.

Most recently when the DSS searched the residences of the former NSA during the id-al-fitr celebrations, there were insinuations that it was in revenge for what he “did” to Buhari during the Muslim holidays on August 27, 1985 when the coup was executed.

But Aminu told Daily Trust: “I must confess that I led that operation. I went to Dodan Barracks that time in company of two other officers – then Major John Madaki and Lawan Gwadabe. Three of us went, but specifically I was the one that went upstairs to bring Buhari. With due respect, I have been reading in the papers and listening to radio, people saying that we manhandled him, we disrespected him. That was not true. I and General Buhari are the only two who knew what transpired upstairs and there was nothing like that.

“We gave him his absolute respect as a superior, because even before that time, we had absolute respect for him, because of whom and what he was. We respected him a lot till today and there is no animosity between us and he knew it was a military assignment that we were carrying out from our superior. He even told me at one time. So for us, it is just like the other way round of when he came to power during the anti-Shagari coup. I was among those who played a major role in getting him to power (in 1983).

“So, he knew the role I played. And even Buhari knew in 2003, I was arrested because of him. That time, I supported him (in the presidential election against President Olusegun Obasanjo). I worked for him at that time, without even him knowing anyway, but he later knew. You see, once you believe in somebody and you know he has the capability, you can do anything for him without even him knowing.”

Aminu also denied that Buhari was handcuffed during the operation.

He said: “It is a blatant lie. In an operation of that nature, we don’t carry handcuffs. I did not salute him because according to military tradition and norms when the flag is lowered, you can only pay compliments the way you deem fit, not salutation.

“We met at 2am and at that time, we don’t salute because the flag is down, until 6am again when the flag is up. To insinuate that he was handcuffed, that is far from the truth. We only accorded him all the respects he deserved. I still hold him in very high esteem.”

However, the three majors went on to hold important positions in the government of Ibrahim Babangida – with Aminu appointed governor of Borno state, Gwadabe governor of Niger and Madaki governor of Katsina.