Reactions have trailed the arrest of Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a media aide to Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
Salihu was sacked hours after criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) over handling of security situation in the country.
Security operatives reportedly stormed his residence in Kano on Friday evening and whisked him away.
Family members of Salihu who spoke to Daily Trust on Sunday last night said they did not know his whereabouts.
However, the Department of State Service (DSS) last night confirmed that its operatives arrested Salihu.
Confirming his arrest and detention, the spokesperson of the service, Peter Afunanya, in a terse statement made available to journalists in Abuja, said Tanko-Yakasai’s arrest and subsequent detention was beyond expression of opinions on social media.
Afunanya said the media aide was undergoing investigation but didn’t not give the details of his offence(s) and when the service would release him.
Many individuals and organisations, including Amnesty International, have demanded his unconditional release but the sacked media aide was still in custody as at when this report was filed.
‘Ganduje betrayed Salihu‘
In a tweet, Bulama Bukarti, a Daily Trust columnist, said Ganduje betrayed Salihu who stood by him at the expense of his reputation.
“Sad how Ganduje betrayed a guy who squandered his reputation defending him. From his dollar clips to robbing Kano’s 2019 election to his politically-motivated removal of Sanusi II, the guy struggled to justify Ganduje’s every wrong. Selfish politicians are never reliable allies,” he tweeted.
In a similar vein, a former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, who condemned the arrest of Salihu demanded his immediate release.
Fayose in a tweet said: “Sad that under this government, our security are only in persecuting whoever speaks against the president. Sad that Nigerians can’t criticize the same president who did not only speak against his predecessors, but also led protests.”
PDP demands immediate release of Salihu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Salihu.
In a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said the arrest of Salihu is “completely unacceptable.”
Part of the statement read: “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.
“The PDP also condemns the decision of the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Umar Ganduje, in summarily relieving Salihu Yakasai of his appointment as his Special Adviser on media, on the ground that his patriotic demand for a decisive action to end terrorism, was contrary to the stand of the APC government.
“In this regard, the PDP demands that Governor Ganduje comes clean on the matter.”
Yakasai’s sack happened months after he was suspended and later reinstated because of similar comments but more scathing criticism of President .Buhari in the wake of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country late last year.
Yakasai’s misfortune this time came about as a result of the criticism he tweeted via his official Twitter handle @dawisu on Friday following the abduction of school children in Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
By Itodo Daniel Sule, Idowu Isamotu (Abuja) & Clement A. Oloyede (Kano)