News & Politics

Ganduje’s aide arrested hours after criticizing Buhari on Twitter

Multiple reports indicate that the State Security Service (SSS) on Friday arrested an aide to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje hours after he criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of Nigeria’s rising security crisis, according to a Kano state government official.

Salihu Tanko-Yakasai was picked up after he posted a series of Twitter posts criticizing the government’s actions that led to Friday’s abduction of Zamfara schoolgirls.

Salihu’s sins were many, but the one that seems to got people’s attention was when he responded to the girl’s kidnapping saying: ‘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.’

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

“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.

“@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 criticizing Mr. Buhari over insecurity. Both Messrs. Ganduje and Buhari are political allies in the ruling All Progressives Congress.

The SSS, a domestic intelligence outfit with the mandate of protecting VIPs, but in recent times has been notorious for cracking down on critics of the Nigerian government and politicians.

The SSS has been one of the more potent weapons used for silencing dissent, they were behind the crackdown on critics, including Yele Sowore, Obadiah Mailafia, and several journalists and activists.

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


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