Olaleye Idowu

Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party has described Yakasai’s arrest as a sad reminder of Dadiyata, whilst Amnesty international says action remains condemnable 

The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, demanded the immediate release of the Yakasai who was whisked away by security operatives on Friday in Kano hours after he criticised the All Progressives Congress and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, over the growing insecurity in the country.

PDP also flayed Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, for sacking Yakasai who tweeted on Friday that the Buhari-regime should secure Nigerians or resign.

Until his sacking on Saturday, Yakasai, son of elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, was Ganduje’s Special Adviser on Media.

In its statement, PDP said the arrest and detention of Yakasai was a sad reminder of the disappearance of a popular critic of the Buhari government, Abubakar Idris, well known as Abu Hanifa Dadiyata, who has not been seen since August 2019.

The statement partly read, “The party describes the reported arrest of Salihu by security operatives as well as his alleged detention in a secret facility, just after his criticism against the Buhari administration’s failures in the fight against banditry in our country, as completely unacceptable.

“Salihu Yakasai’s ordeal is a sad reminder of the sudden disappearance of another known critic of the Buhari administration, 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.”

“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.

“The action of Governor Ganduje has again heightened apprehensions on the alleged connections between APC leaders and the bandits pillaging our nation.

Meanwhile, the Global rights group, Amnesty International, has condemned the arrest of Salihu Tanko Yakasai, who was arrested hours after criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari, over the rise in school kidnappings.

Yakasai, who was until Saturday afternoon, a media aide to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, was arrested by the Department of State Services on Friday.

Amnesty said in a tweet, “Amnesty International condemns the arrest of Salihu Tanko Yakasai for exercising his freedom of expression through a tweet. We call on the Nigerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him. #FreeDawisuNow

“Nigerian authorities must respect the right of citizens to express critical opinions. #FreeDawisuNow.”

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