Barnabas Jabila, otherwise known as Sgt. Rogers, the notorious HITMAN of late despot, gen. Sani Abacha, has lamented how the Nigerian Government used and dumped him.
In an interview with New Telegraph newspaper, Sgt. Rogers (seen in photo) discloses how he has been abandoned by friends and former bosses, including the Abacha family and Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, after the road accident that left him bedridden. He also speaks of his childhood desire to become a pastor and
It’s been a very long time since you disappeared from public view. Where have you been and how are you doing?
Sgt. Rogers: I thank God that I’m fine.
Since you were involved in an automobile accident, how challenging has it been?
It has been very challenging and very difficult because this is not a type of ailment for which you take drugs and get better. My condition has to do with the spinal cord and it is going to take a long time. Since 2009, I have been in bed till now. I thank God that I’m living by the grace of God.
How did the accident happen?
Actually I went to the farm to bring some produce and on my way back, along Kaduna-Abuja Road, the two front tyres pulled off; that was how it happened. I found myself in the hospital. I was assisted by some soldiers and policemen that were on patrol on the highway. They took me to the hospital and I was admitted and treated. I was first admitted to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital at Gwagwalada and I was also treated at the SSS hospital. I have people that come here to treat me. Since then, I have been on treatment in various hospitals and some doctors and physiotherapists come to treat me at home. As somebody in need of medical care, wherever I hear that there are persons that can treat me, I would go. I have been to alternative healthcare givers and prayer houses. Either I’m taken there or they come here to help me.
What is your relationship with the Abacha family and have they been supportive?
I know they are aware that I was involved in an accident because it was in the media then. Maybe they don’t know where I am staying. I have not heard from them.
Let me take you back in time. There is a story about you that is very much in the negative. Sgt Rogers was a name that was dreaded. How do you live with this definition of your person?
Well, my being perceived in the negative is understandable. My profession is always taken on the negative side, no matter how good you try to be. No matter how good you are, you are always perceived in the negative. Generally speaking, we are all human beings like every other person, you understand. These are the sacrifices you have to make for the nation. No matter how negative it is you take it because you have done your best for the nation. Are you still in the army and if you are what is your rank now and your present posting? I am still in the army; I am a Sergeant in the army and attached to the SSS headquarters up till now. My last date of promotion was in September 1995, that’s like 19 years or so.
Abacha’s erstwhile deputy, Gen. Oladipo Diya, said in a recent interview that you represented death anytime you were around. Was he right?
Well, he is an elderly person and I heard that it was when he celebrated his birthday that he made the comment. What I want to say is to refer him to the Bible in the book of Luke, about the centurion who met Jesus Christ. The centurion told Jesus that he had soldiers under him who obey his orders; if he tells them go, they go; if he tells them to do this, they do it. That’s the only thing I can say.
Are you saying that you were in the command of the army when you did all this?
I’m under the command of the army and under the Federal Government. I’m a servant, you know, a servant doing my service to the nation. Just like the centurion said, if they say go, I go, come, I come; do this and I will do it; don’t do this and I don’t do it. There are some, few of them though. But the truth is this, one Igbo man sang a song when we were in the barracks which has the chorus that when the going is good and smooth, very many people will be your friends; but when the going is bad, all of them will run away. That is just it.
Your former boss, Maj. Al Mustapha was released sometime ago. Are you two in contact?
There has been no contact between us. I only see him on the television when he visits a mosque and goes on his charity campaign.
As I entered here, I saw some sort of a prayer meeting going on. Are you now a born again Christian?
It was not now, I had been a born again Christian but I backslided again. I became born again in1989 in Jaji then but backslided which is normal as anybody can make a mistake. There is mercy in Christ, you can come back and he will receive you; I have come back and he received me.
During the trial of Maj. Mustapha, you revealed under cross examination that the Federal Government promised to compensate you with a house, foreign posting and other incentives but reneged. Did they later make good their promise?
No they didn’t. This house I am living in is a rented apartment; I have been paying rent for a long time. They did not do anything to make good their promise. It is natural to feel used and cheated because the integrity of people that make such promises is not that of people you think will play on your intelligence.
Do you have any regrets in life and what will you do better if given another chance?
Actually, before I joined the army, I thought I would be a pastor but I found myself in the army. I could have gone through that way but God has a plan for everything. I cannot now say that I regret what God has allowed and what He planned. As a believer all things work together for good, God has a purpose for everything and that is why I will not regret anything. I take everything the way it comes and I give glory to God.
How did you join the army?
I joined the army through recruitment in the 80s.
How were you selected for the strike force?
A signal was sent to my unit in Jaji to report to the Presidency and I reported
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