By Hussaini Mohammed Baba
On first encounter, you are stricken by the thought of having a conversation with a genie imprisoned in a bottle. He speaks clearly, has a strong voice and is in control of his thoughts. His memory is sharp and he recalls and narrates events of years back as if they just happened.
You get the impression of speaking with an intelligent human being full of patriotism and ready to take any risk and dare the devil for his country.
He looks at you with strong penetrating eyes and you get the eerie feeling those eyes see through you and read your innermost mind. Large, beautiful eyes full of life.
Full of life? Well, that’s the impression you get until he tells you the eyes are useless because they don’t see; all he sees around him is darkness.
Welcome to the world of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Dauda Buba Fika, variously described as super cop, policeman’s policeman, quintessential cop, etc.
CSP Dauda is a son of late Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Buba Fika, one of the first generation of elite Nigerian policemen. He was a security officer in Maiduguri in charge of the Police “E’ Department when President Muhammadu Buhari was the Governor of the Morth Eastern State. He was also a member of the Supreme Military council between 1976 and 1979.
He had served the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) diligently, professionally, and responsively. He led many successful counter-insurgency operations in the North-east, fighting Boko Haram sect members with his entire soul and body. He led a team of security joint-task force to flush-out Boko Haram fighters from Fika town in 2016. He once led a rapid response squad to rescue 18 policemen who were held hostage by Boko Haram extremists in Borno. He was ambushed at four different times by ‘blood-thirsty’ insurgents, but he escaped unscathed. As a matter of fact, he once had an enviable record that no other police officers and men deployed to the troubled N/East could boast of.
His travails started when he was the Commander of Mobile Police (MOPOL) 41 when he was shot by troops of an Army Battalion in Yobe State on April 13, 2017 as a result sustaining a life-threatening injury to his hips.
“It all came to a head when some policemen travelling in his convoy had a minor scuffle with a soldier in Damaturu, capital of Yobe”, he narrated to Neptune Prime, and he said though the altercation was eventually settled, some hooded soldiers stormed his house, tortured him and later whisked him away to a military base inside a bush in the outskirt of Damaturu, the next day.
“I was taken to an Army Battalion from my house. The soldiers, who whisked me away would have killed me when we arrived at their battalion. They threw me and one other MOPOL officer inside a ditch and they cocked their rifles to shoot. But a senior army officer immediately arrived the scene, and I was taken out of the ditch.
“The army officer took me to his office and ordered me to go and calm my boys, who had already laid siege at the entrance of the Battalion. By then, my boys were already shooting into the air sporadically. They were insisting that I must be released unhurt. So, I came down to meet my boys. They lifted and threw me into the air to welcome me when I got to their place.
“They touched my body to check if I was fine and wasn’t hurt. I eventually calmed their frayed nerves and ordered them to go back to their base. They all left, leaving behind two other MOPOL officers and myself. But it was at that moment, some soldiers who we did not know were trailing us opened fire.
“They killed the two people with me. I was shot twice in the hips and left in a pool of blood. But thank God, a high-ranking army officer, who came and met me lying on the ground ordered that I should be taken to the army hospital. It was while I was there that the State’s Police Commissioner called to inquire if I was truly the one alive.
“After we spoke, the commissioner directed that I should immediately be flown to Abuja for better medical attention. And because the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was closed for rehabilitation then, I was first taken to Kaduna and treated in a hospital. The next day, I was brought to Cedar Crest Hospital in Abuja by an ambulance,” he calmly narrated.
At the Abuja-based private hospital, CSP Fika said he was wrongly diagnosed by a doctor of having a ‘large’ tumour inside his head after he complained of severe headache head and dizziness.
The doctor who performed the MRI scan and diagnosed him of having ‘tumour in the brain,’ immediately carried out a surgical operation on Mr Fika’s head. No sooner was the operation performed, than the MOPOL commander started having acute migraine and experiencing other intense pains.
It was at that time that Mr Fika, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), received timely aid from the Police Force, who fully sponsored the cost of his medical surgery abroad though he paid for his accommodation and medication to and from the United Kingdom for further surgical operations. But he was full of lamentations over the way the army treated him. He said“I am surprised the Nigerian Army didn’t reach out to me since then. I strongly believe the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, could have assisted if he knew of my present predicament considering my exploits in joint military-security operations in the North East.
Meanwhile, contrary to what the Cedar Crest Hospital’s doctor said, I was told by my doctor here, that I never had any kind of tumour in my head. Yet, another surgery was then performed where the doctors removed an infection which was affecting both my eyes and tooth, he said.
He strongly holds that the police should file a suit and also seek damages from the doctor at Cedar Crest Hospital, maintaining that the ‘ill-fated’ surgery only aggravated his deteriorating health.
“Though, I have since lost my sight, I remain grateful to Allah for keeping me alive. My doctors in London successfully replaced my natural hip with an artificial hip. And right now, I am learning to walk steadily with the support of aid. With time, I will be able to walk unaided, my doctors have assured me of that.
Though he is full of thanks to the police who gave him a special treatment by evacuating from Damaturu and the Yobe State Government that gave him N4,000,000, he said “I must thank the leadership of the Nigerian Police for their uncommon love, generosity, and kindness in the payment for the operation while I shoulder my accommodation and living cost here in London. Nevertheless, I will still plead to our indefatigable and dynamic Inspector General of Police, who is my boss, and the Chief of Army Staff to assist me financially”.
This is because he has incurred a bill of over 30,000 pounds necessitating him to have virtually sold all he ever had, house, car and other valuables apart from collecting loans from friends and family members to take care of his medical challenges.
Despite all the pains and loses, the super cop wants two things dear to his heart: a recommendation letter (he has received many from other sources) from the police for his efforts in fighting insurgency and his long overdue promotion to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
When you come out from an encounter with CSP Dauda Buba Fika, on your way home you keep thinking of the mystery of being with a genie caged in a bottle. Here is a man, full of life and energy, looking forward to serving his country and giving unconditional love to his young loving wife, who surveys all, yet sees nothing, who talks with gusto, yet cant move his limbs. A beautiful soul trapped in a body wasted by the inhumanity of gun totting human protectors.
Who will come to his aid?