Anti-Buhari remark: DSS flayed for arrest of sacked Ganduje’s aide, Yakasai

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*Buhari, Yakasai, Ganduje

Nigerians have reacted angrily to the arrest of Mr. Salihu Yakasai, also known as Dawisu, who was sacked by the governor of Kano State, Mr. Abdullahi Ganduje for criticising the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari

Yakasai’s arrest by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and sack came hours after calling on the president to check Nigeria’s worsening security situation or resign.

“Clearly, we as APC government, at all levels, have failed Nigerians in the number 1 duty we were elected to do which is to secure lives & properties. Not a single day goes by without some sort of insecurity in this land. This is a shame! Deal with terrorists decisively or resign.

“Just last week it was #freekagaraboys, today we have a new hashtag #RescueJangebeGirls, who knows tomorrow what hashtag we will come up with? Perhaps one for ourselves when we get caught up in one of these daring attacks. This is sad & heartbreaking, I feel helpless & hopeless.

“I completely agree. Hypocrisy is in our dna. Imagine what’s happening in the North now was under GEJ or OBJ, sai dai ka ji ana makiyin arewa ne, makiyin musulmi ne (meaning you will hear it’s the enemy of the North and Muslims), but here we are, being ravaged by all sorts of insecurity but no collective rage, sai useless lamentations. SMDH,” he tweeted.

Although he is a member of the a member of the APC, Yakassai had on several occasions criticised the government.

He was once suspended by Ganduje in October for two weeks for expressing solidarity with the #EndSARS protest across Nigeria against police brutality.

His recent criticism led to his sack and eventual arrest and detention at the DSS headquarters in Abuja after his arrest in Kano Friday evening.

Reacting to the incident, the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose said Yakasai’s ability to speak truth to power made him a hero of democracy.

“I commend the courage of Salihu Yakasai, the sacked Gov Ganduje’s Aide for being able to speak truth to power. This singular action of his has made him the latest hero of our democracy, and in turn, confirmed that there is hope for a united Nigeria.

“Nothing can be more honourable than what he has done by standing tall amidst darkness & selfishness of leadership. His sack is the beginning of his rise politically. I sincerely congratulate him & indeed the ordinary Nigerians seeking good governance & leadership.#BuhariMustResign,” he twitted.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction described the action of the DSS as “unacceptable” and called for the immediate and unconditional release of Yakasai.

In a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said Salihu’s ordeal was a sad reminder of the sudden disappearance of another known critic of the Buhari regime, Abubakar Idris, popularly known as Abu Hanifa Dadiyata, since August, 2019.

“The PDP reminds agents of the APC-led administration that Nigeria is a democratic nation and that the rights of citizens, including their freedom of expression, within the ambit of the law, are firmly guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and as such, must be respected. Our party, therefore, rejects the arrest of Salihu Yakasai for joining other patriotic Nigerians in demanding a presidential commitment of a decisive action to rescue the abducted Zamfara schoolgirls as well as to end all acts of terrorism in our country.”

Also reacting, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) condemned the arrest of Yakasai, saying criticism is not a crime and urged the federal government to stop treating criticism as crime.

In a series of tweets, SERAP said: “Kano State authorities are making a mockery of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended] and international human rights obligations by sacking journalist Salihu Tanko Yakasai simply for allegedly criticising the government of President Buhari. Peaceful dissent is not a crime.

“Free Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Criticism is not a Crime

Free Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Criticism is not a Crime

Free Salihu Tanko Yakasai

Criticism is not a Crime

“We condemn the unlawful arrest of journalist Salihu Tanko “Yakasai simply for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.  Nigerian authorities should stop shutting up critics.

Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Yakasai.

For his part, the presidential candidate of African Action Congress in the 2019 general elections Mr. Omoyele Sowore tweeted: “#FreeDawisu Lawless DSS has arrested @dawisu for freely expressing his views regarding the failure of the @MBuhari’s govt. The DSS lazy leadership can’t help Nigerians facing insecurity but only ready and happy to pounce on Nigerians critical of the failing regime #BuhariMustGo”

Also, aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Reno Omokri, tweeted: “Dear @Dawisu, I just read about your so-called sack by @GovUmarGanduje You have not been SACKED. You have been FREED. To be sacked by a man caught on video stuffing bribes in dollars into his babanriga is freedom. Honesty is not needed in @OfficialAPCNg”

A twitter user @Mohnice wrote: “Ganduje aide dawisu, was arrested & taken to Abuja from Kano. Appointees ve conscience too & only an inhumane heart keeps mute while things deteriorate. First, he was suspended, recalled & now arrested! Posterity will surely remember Dawisu in the right side of history #FreeDawisu”

Similarly, a social media commentator, Mr. Japhet Omojuwa, said, “Citizen @Dawisu criticised his own party & disappeared & we thought he had been killed or kidnapped. That reminds me of Hitler, not justice. That’s the game under fascism, not democracy. If you support this, keep it going. You will live long to enjoy it too #FreeDawisu!!!”

The convener of Concerned Nigerians Group, Mr. Deji Adeyanju also reacted saying: “I’m just so angry. So, people can no longer criticize the Govt in their own country but you guys can be meeting terrorists and giving them VIP treatment. #FreeDawisu”

Meanwhile, the DSS yesterday confirmed that Yakasai was in its custody.

The agency’s spokesman, Mr. Peter Afunanya, however denied that Yakasai’s arrest was connected to his criticism of the Buhari regime.

“This is to confirm that Salihu Tanko-Yakasai is with the Department of State Services. He is being investigated over issues beyond the expression of opinions in the social media as wrongly alleged by sections of the public,” he said.

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