In days ahead, call for President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation will grow and the demand would be legal, senior lawyer, Mr Femi Falana said on Sunday.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria was reacting to the arrest of Salisu Tanko-Yakassai, a media aide to Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje, who was sacked for joining the chorus demanding the president step down over raging insecurity in the land.
Many open supporters of President Buhari are souring on him as the central government appears helpless in tackling the security monster.
Tanko-Yakassai is a member of President Buhari’s ruling party and his erstwhile principal is a strong ally of the President.
Nigerians have continued to condemn his arrest by the Department of State Security (DSS). Falana, reminded: “It is on record that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders including General Muhammadu Buhari; National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinibu; Malam Nasir el-rufai and Alhaji Lai Mohammed repeatedly called for former President Goodluck Jonathan’s resignation between 2013 and 2014. Yet, they were never subjected to any form of intimidation for exercising their freedom of expression at the time.”
Going legal, he added, “Since the call for President Buhari’s resignation is likely to continue to be made by other concerned individuals and groups over the virtual collapse of the security architecture of the neocolonial state, it is pertinent to draw the attention of the State Security Service to the case of Arthur Nwankwo vs The State 1985 6 NCLR 228, where the Court of Appeal charged the Nigerian people to engage in relentless criticism of democratically elected governments. In particular, Olajide Olatawura JCA (as he then was of blessed memory) had this to say:
“The decision of the founding fathers of the present Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech which must include freedom to criticise should be praised and any attempt to derogate from it except as provided by the constitution must be resisted. Those in public offices should not be intolerant of criticism in respect of their office so as to ensure that they are accountable to the people. They should not be made to feel that they live in an ivory tower and, therefore, belong to a different class. They must develop thick skins and where possible, plug their ears with wool if they feel too sensitive or irascible.”
The chair of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) subsequently called for immediate release of Yakassai or his appearance in court if he is deemed to have committed any offence known to law.