Nigerians and the international community are infuriated at the country’s elected representatives and individuals in influential government positions because only a few among them have empathised with the youth since the #EndSARS protest started.
On Sunday, however, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, Special Adviser on Media to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, lent his voice to the #EndSARS protest on social media and, unfortunately, earned himself a suspension from the governor over what he described as “unguarded utterances on the person of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Salihu Tanko tweeted:
“Whatever you do in life, make sure you never lose your voice. Speak up against injustice, speak up against inaction, speak up for what you believe in, demand for your right and never let a temporary position or privilege stop you from standing with the people. Enough is enough! #EndSARS.
“To speak to your own people over issues that are bedevilling them has become something like a favour you’re doing to them. Over and over again, you cannot spare 5mins and address the nation to calm them down, the same people you went to the 36 states to beg for their votes, it’s heartbreaking.”
Whatever u do in life, make sure u never lose ur voice. Speak up against injustice, speak up against inaction, speak up for what u believe in, demand for ur right and never let a temporary position or privilege stop u from standing with the people. Enough is enough! #EndSARS
— Peacock (@dawisu) October 11, 2020
To speak to ur own ppl over issues that are bedevilling them has become something like a favour u're doing to them. Over & over again, u cannot spare 5mins & address the nation to calm them down, the same people u went to the 36 states to beg for their votes, its heartbreaking.
— Peacock (@dawisu) October 11, 2020
Impressed by Tanko’s actions but infuriated by Ganduje’s, Nigerians have lashed back at the Governor and are standing solidly behind his media aide with the hashtag #IstandWithDawisu.
We have to show our total support for our brother Dawisu, he was suspended for telling the truths something Bashir Ahmad could never do. #IstandWithDawisu
— GoldMyne (@GoldmyneTV) October 12, 2020
One very reason, public officers don't speak cos the same people will mock them.
— Jerry Chechet Kahu (@chechet) October 12, 2020
Please don't forget that our new hashtags are #SarsMustGo and also #IStandWithDawisu as we show our support for @dawisu. As long as he stands with us, we will also stand with him….please RETWEET to spread this info. Don't forget to go our for protests too!! WE MOVE💪💪
— #EndSARS (@ositaphilips) October 12, 2020
They suspended an aide, they unleashed a LION!
— Olajide ❤❤💡💡 (@don_jydon) October 12, 2020
You've been the most loyal servant to Ganduje but today you got suspended for speaking the truth, we stand with you sir and your love for humanity will definitely pay back, all lives matter💪#IStandWithDawisu pic.twitter.com/EsmUHn87Re
— QUEEN IN THE NORTH (@Mareeyahh1) October 12, 2020
“Speaking truth to power comes with its consequences”
~ Emir of the United Kano Sunusi Lamido Sunusi (1804)
— SULE ILIYASU (@sule_iliyasu) October 12, 2020
you know in life,truth is always bitter,and I admire his bravery for speaking up his mind.i pray dis action of him will uplift his family.
— Ayounce (@Pharouk2013) October 12, 2020
— #SARSMUSTEND (@solomon_yomi) October 12, 2020
We might want to ask ourselves what unguarded utterance means after reading the so-called “hate speech” of Tanko Yakasai who was only merely re-echoing the resolve of the Nigerian youth to continue speaking up until their voices are heard and the #EndSARS protest achieves its aim of bringing an end to police brutality that has led to too many deaths of Nigerian youth; throwing many families into mourning.
Whatever happened to freedom of expression?
It is rather saddening that our leaders seem to be growing more and more insensitive to the plight of the masses. While the international community is showing understanding with the Nigerian youth in their struggle to scrap the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), our elected representatives who should be more concerned about the welfare of the youth are busy trying to gag them to stop them from speaking up against constant oppression.
It may be instructive to remind our leaders that peaceful protest is a constitutional right of the people.