Ganduje Aide detained for questioning Buhari inabilities to govern right

The  State Security Service on Friday arrested an aide to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje hours after he criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of Nigeria’s security crisis, according to a Kano government official.

Salihu Tanko-Yakasai was taken into custody shortly after twitter post condemning Friday’s abduction of Zamfara schoolgirle that went viral online.

“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,” Mr Yakasai wrote in a tweet, reacting to the abduction of schoolgirls in Zamfara State on Friday.

317 girls were kidnapped from their school. The Zamfara raid made it the second abduction of students in less than a week in the northern part of the country.

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His arrest was not immediately disclosed, prompting friends to take to social media to raise concerns about his whereabouts on Saturday morning.

Ganduje Aide detained for questioning Buhari inabilities to govern right
Ganduje Aide detained for questioning Buhari inabilities to govern right

An SSS official in Kano told the Gazette Mr. Tanko-Yakasai was arrested while returning from the mosque on Friday afternoon, adding that the governor was yet to be informed about the development.

“Alhamdulillah we just confirmed @dawisu is at DSS office,” a Kano government spokesman also said on Twitter Saturday morning, injecting immediate calm into initial apprehension palpable across the microblogging platform.

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“@dawisu was arrested and taken to Abuja from kano. #FreeDawisu now!,” another friend said.

A spokesman for the police in Kano said the matter had not been reported. A spokesman for the SSS did not immediately return a request seeking comments on  Saturday morning.

Mr. Tanko-Yakasai, who has worked as Mr. Ganduje’s media handler since 2015, was suspended from office for several weeks last year after criticising Mr. Buhari over insecurity. Both Messrs. Ganduje and Buhari are political allies of the ruling All Progressives Congress.

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The SSS, a domestic intelligence outfit, has been notorious for cracking down on critics of Nigerian brutal regimes for decades. The outfit was infamous as a prime suspect in the arrest, disappearance and murder of critics under dictator Sani Abacha. 

After staying mildly away from controversies following Nigeria’s return to civil rule in 1999, the SSS returned to its brutal ways under Mr. Buhari, conducting regular crackdowns on critics, including Yele Sowore, Obadiah Mailafia and several journalists and activists.

An SSS official in Abuja told the Gazette that Mr. Tanko-Yakasai was taken to the agency’s facility along Yakubu Gowon Crescent in Asokoro, Abuja.

On Dawisu’s Sack

The state information commissioner, Muhammad Garba, said Salihu Tanko-Yakasai a.k.a Dawisu, was relieved of his appointment for “unguarded comments and utterances.”

Garba said the aide had failed to differentiate between personal opinion and official stand on matters of public concern and therefore could not be allowed to continue to serve in a government he does not believe in.

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“The governor also warned political appointees and public servants to guard against making statements capable of drawing superfluous controversy.”

Although a member of the APC, Tanko-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.

Falana, SERAP calls for release of Dawisu

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, on Saturday, February 27, criticised the detention of Salihu Tanko-Yakasai also known as Dawisu, by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Furthermore, SERAP demanded his unconditional release since he was exercising his right to freedom of expression.

“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,” SERAP tweeted.

Also, Human Right Activist, a lawyer and defender of the oppressed, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) condemned in strong terms the arrest and sacking of Media Aide to the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari over the abductions of students in Niger and Zamfara States.

Ganduje Aide detained for questioning Buhari inabilities to govern right
Ganduje Aide detained for questioning Buhari inabilities to govern right

Falana said the Media Aide, Saihu Tanko-Yakasai has not committed any offence for asking President Buhari to resign.

Falana said n a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Asking Buhari to Resign is Not An Offence.’

The senior advocate said retired military officers and political party leaders, including chieftains of the All Progressive Congress have repeatedly asked Buhari to call it quits due to the worsening insecurity in the country and there was no justification for the arrest and detention of Yakassai.

He noted that in the National Assembly, there had been calls by legislators for Buhari’s resignation or impeachment on the grounds that criminal gangs have taken over the monopoly of violence in the country.

Falana said, since such concerned citizens were never arrested, the harassment of Yakassai is high handed, discriminatory and illegal.

The statement read in part, “It is on record that the APC and its leaders including General Buhari; National Leader, Bola Tinubu; Malam Nasir El-rufai and Alhaji Lai Mohammed repeatedly called for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s resignation between 2013 and 2014 yet they were never subjected to any form of intimidation for exercising their freedom of expression at the material time.

“Since the call for President Buhari’s resignation is likely to continue to be made by other concerned individuals and groups over the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neo-colonial state it is pertinent to draw the attention of the State Security Service to the case of Arthur Nwankwo v the State 1985 6 NCLR 228 where the Court of Appeal charged the Nigerian people to engage in relentless criticism of democratically elected governments.

“In particular, Olajide Olatawura JCA (as he then was of blessed memory) had this to say: The decision of the founding fathers of the present constitution which guarantees freedom of speech which must include freedom to criticise should be praised and any attempt to derogate from it except as provided by the constitution must be resisted.”

The ASCAB chairman called for the immediate and unconditional release of Yakassai from illegal custody.

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Temi Badmus is a Food scientist and an Art enthusiast. She is an health freelancer, and media Manager. She is a humorous and controversial writer, who believes all form of writing is audible if it's done well. Temi Badmus specializes on indigenous food nutrient research and values. She believes in reaching out to people with health decline through articles and giving advice on good eating habit.

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