I have met General Aliyu Gusau Mohammed only once; and that was sometimes last year. He was an aspiring presidential candidate; one of the four vying to be the Northern consensus candidate.
Segun Babatope had invited me, along with other journalists, to meet a very upbeat Mohammed, who felt that his years of service in the military as well as his much-vaunted expertise in security matters, with its concomitants, provided him the background experience, to cope with the cloak-and-dagger intrigues of politics, to be Nigeria’s president.
I asked Gusau just two questions. I wanted to know why he persistently kept running for presidency, when he almost always fell by the wayside. Secondly, I wondered how he was going to sell in Northern Nigeria, a candidacy which carried the baggage of being a close security friend of Zionist Israel. I am not sure that my questions endeared me to the famous general. As it turned out, the Northern PDP elite settled for Atiku Abubakar; and as they say, the rest is history.
But Aliyu Gusau Mohammed continues to be a permanently recurring presence in our national life. There must be something about his ability, connections and long standing surety that continue to speak for him.