A frontline human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has said that it is not a criminal offence for any citizen of the country to demand President Muhammadu Buhari’s resignation.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said this in a statement in reaction to the arrest, detention and sack of Salihu Tanko Yakasai by the Kano State government for demanding Buhari’s immediate resignation.
Following the news of the abduction of the students of the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, Salihu had questioned the All Progressives Congress, APC, government’s effort to protect its citizens, thereby calling for the resignation of the President.
The Department of State Services, DSS, confirmed the arrest of Salihu, after his dismissal as an aide to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State. This is coming after the Kano State Director of the security agency had earlier denied that Salihu was in their custody.
DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya said the former governor’s aide was under investigation for issues beyond his remark.vFalana condemned the action of the DSS, stating that there is no justification for the arrest and detention of Salihu
In a statement titled, ‘Asking Buhari to Resign is Not An Offence’, the rights activist noted that the call for Buhari’s resignation has become very popular in the country even before Salihu added his voice to it.
He noted that many politicians, including members of the ruling party and activists have continued to call for Buhari to vacate Aso Rock Villa due to the deteriorating security situation across the country.
He further argued that in the past those who called for the resignation of former president Goodluck Jonathan, such as Buhari himself, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nasir El-Rufai and others did not get intimidated nor arrested.
“It is on record that the APC and its leaders including General Mohammadu 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,” the statement added.
“Yet they were never subjected to any form of intimidation for exercising their freedom of expression at the material time. 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,” he said.
He called for the immediate and unconditional release of Salihu from ‘illegal custody.’