For criticising Buhari, Ganduje sacks Tanko Yakassi’s son

From Desmond Mgboh, Kano, Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has relieved his Special Adviser on Social Media, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, son of the Second Republic politician and elder statesman of his appointment over his continued unguarded comments and utterances against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari contrary to the stand of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government he is serving.
This is even as his father, Tanko Yakassi, disclosed that “my son has been arrested by officers from the Department of State Services (DSS) near his residence, shortly after visiting a barbing saloon for a haircut.”
In a quick reaction, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded an unconditional release of the embattled Yakassi, stating that he has right to his opinion.
The party asked Nigerians to hold the APC and its leaders responsible for the heightened acts of banditry and terrorism in the country.
The older Yakassi had revealed that his son slept in DSS custody in Kano on Friday and was moved to Abuja on Saturday morning adding that “they should have arrived Abuja by now, going by the time they left.”
Following the uncomplimentary comments on President Muhammadu Buhari, the state Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, said Ganguje directed that the younger Yakassai be sacked with immediate effect.
He maintained that 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.
The governor also warned political appointees and public servants to guard against making statements capable of drawing superfluous controversy.
The statement reaffirmed the commitment of Governor Ganduje to the policies and programmes of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The younger Yakassi in his verified Twitter handle had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign his position following Friday’s abduction of 317 female boarding students of Government Girls’ Secondary School in Jangebe in Zamfara State.
He tweeted: “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 sorts of insecurity in this land. This is a shame! Deal with terrorists decisively or resign.”
He also declared that the governors and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party have failed in their primary responsibility to secure the lives and property of Nigerians.
The elder Yakasai told Sunday Sun that: “As far as I am concerned, there is nothing criminal in his comment. I went through it; I read what he said. They just want to scare other people from making the same kind of statement or similar comments against the authorities,” he noted.
“I guess he is not the real target; the people at large are the target. Look at this way, the story of his arrest would go out and anybody who would have made similar remarks would get scared,” he explained.
The elder statesman was optimistic that his son would survive the present storm, recalling that he was arrested and detained by security agents and the government 10 times in his life.
He, however, added that: “My only quarrel with him (his son) is that you are under them. Don’t quarrel with them. Once you accept to work under them, you have sacrificed your right to speak against them. If you want to speak against them, then resign from them.”
The Nigeria Police in Kano State has so far disassociated itself from the arrest. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa said the police knew nothing about the arrest.
In the same vein, the Department of State Security (DSS) in the state has distanced itself from the disappearance of Salihu Yakasai after his father alleged that he was picked up by plain-clothed security men on Friday.
The state Director of Department of State Services, Muhammad Alhassan said: “We have not arrest or even invited Salihu; don’t forget he is our friend; sometimes, he advises on issues of critical security situations in Kano.”
It will be recalled that Salihu was last suspended for two months by the Kano State government for making critical comments against Buhari.
The PDP, in a statement, yesterday, signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the alleged arrest of Yakasai, hours after he criticised the Federal Government over rising insecurity in the country, was unacceptable.
The opposition party also condemned Ganduje’s decision to sack Yakasai as his Special Adviser on Social Media, because “his patriotic demand for a decisive action to end terrorism was contrary to the stand of the APC government.”
Similarly, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has called for the immediate release of Salihu, describing his arrest as “another sad commentary on how low this APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari has gone.”
Fayose, who also commended Salihu Yakasai for being courageous enough to speak truth to power, said: “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.”

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