The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has expressed dismay over the report of arrest of Tanko Salihu -Yakasai, a former aide to Governors Umar Ganduje of Kano State by agents of the Department of State Services (DSS) few days ago.
Yakasai was relieved of his appointment for criticising President Muhammadu and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting to this, PDP lawmakers in a statement signed by their Caucus leader, Kingsley Chinda (Rivers State) expressed concern over the continuous breach of freedom of expression by the Buhari’s regime.
Chinda said: “As a Caucus, we note with very serious concern, the continuous breach and denigration of democratic ethos and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Particularly in view of constitutionally guaranteed safeguards in Chapters IV thereof on freedom of speech, and also the provision of Section 14(1) of the said Constitution which provides that “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State base on the principles of democracy and social justice.
“Recall that only recently, some armed bandits abducted secondary school girls from a Zamfara State Government owned secondary school in Jangebe, following which Mr. Yakassai had criticized persons in authority, including President Muhammadu Buhari and reiterated our called for the resignation of the President over his failure to curb or effectively deal with the general state of insecurity across the country.
“Mr. Yakassai had also lamented that the current administration has failed Nigerians at all levels which led to his removal as the Special Adviser on Media to the Kano State Governor”.
He noted that the Caucus is proud of and commended the stance, uncommon boldness, courage and statesmanship shown by Yakassai and a few other Nigerians for standing firm to say the truth.
The lawmaker, however, noted with utmost surprise and disappointment the rationale behind the arrest of Yakassai by the DSS for standing by and speaking the truth to power.
He said: “We are indeed greatly worried and take cognisance of the fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has consistently failed in its responsibility of preserving the Constitution which he swore to defend and uphold, particularly with respect to the protection of the lives of Nigerians as guaranteed in S.14(2) of the Constitution and his social contract with Nigerians during his electioneering campaigns.
“We hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government to pay particular attention to the message (as delivered by Mr. Yakassai and other well-meaning Nigerians), rather than focus on the messenger. For how long will he continue to fiddle while the country burns?
“Consequently, we hereby call on the DSS and other relevant authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Yakassai”.