YNaija Says: These reports of Audu Maikori’s arrest had better not be true

We have just got hold of very disturbing news of Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori’s arrest. The National Human rights Commission reports that he was picked up by the Nigeria Police and has been flown to the Force headquarters in Abuja.

Audu Maikori has been very vocal about the killings in Southern Kaduna and has often had to battle with a number of detractors online (especially Twitter) who have claimed that his interest in the affairs of his State is politically motivated.

Perhaps, the worst of these was when Audu Maikori reported the death of five College of Education students in January, a report that turned out to be false and for which the music label manager has since apologised. Before this, he’d been attacked for using photos from a different insurgency to describe the killings in Southern Kaduna. He also apologised and took down the photos in question from his Facebook page.

Beyond these, we have no knowledge of any reason why the entertainment veteran will be taken into police custody. If this is the same Nigeria we know, then it may just be that the government to whom his cries or action have been directed and which has been severally embarrassed by his impassioned calls has now decided to “teach him a lesson” in usual Nigerian fashion.

It may also be that the security operatives are now heeding the call of those who have called for him to be picked up by the DSS for being outspoken about the killings in Southern Kaduna – according to them, Audu Maikori’s publications were inciting violence.

The problem here, as we have already explained  is that Audu Maikori is not the problem in Southern Kaduna and airing his views on the killings, his perceived inaction (or not enough of it) from the Kaduna State Government is not the problem and it certainly should not be a problem in a 2017 Nigerian Democracy that a citizen has chosen to criticise the government. And incitement”

And if we are going back to all too often misapplied term “incitement” of violence, then it will be shameful of the Police Force did not take any hint from what recently transpired between the DSS and Apostle Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries.

Worse still, Governor El Rufai (and indeed the whole of the ruling All Progressive Congress) has earned a reputation – whether or not justifiable is not the question at this point – for bringing out the guns on those who are not within the circle. This applies to the President’s anti-corruption campaign which has been labelled as being lopsided. The Nigerian Army too has been called out for trying to suppress the Freedom of the under the pretence of outdated laws of criminal libel.

Governor El-Rufai has the additional burden of the accusations of unleashing the State security on Shiites in his States and there are also whispers that he has continually allowed the herdsmen killings to go unchecked.

This is arrest of a private citizen who has done nothing but speak out loud against perceived injustices and apologised when he got things wrong is not only bad for our democracy, it worsens the public’s perception of the ruling party especially if it turns out this arrest was needless to begin with.

If the Kaduna State Government – or whoever initiated this arrest – knows what’s best for it, it had better come up with a fool proof and true explanation as to why Audu Maikori has been arrested as soon as possible.

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