Nigerians attack governor over arrest of journalist

Nigerians have come hard on Governor Yahaha Bello over the re-arrest of journalist and activist, Austin Okai.

Governor Yahaya Bello.

Okai, a critic of Governor Bello’s policies was said to have been re-arrested by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) after he was granted bail by the magistrate court.

This development has continued to generate criticism from Nigerians.

A former chief communications manager to the Kogi state government, Phrank Shaibu described Okai’s arrest as a national shame and height of insensitivity by the authorities.

"This is indeed a national shame and an open disgrace,” Shuaibu said. “It's the height of insensitivity. I'm totally shocked that Comrade Okai was re-arrested inside the court after the magistrate had granted him bail. This is clearly a barbaric and belligerent act," he enthused.

Shaibu, a renowned communications strategist and public affairs analyst expressed shock at Governor Bello's mastermind of the initial arrest, detention and re-arrest of the journalist.

"If it is true that Governor Yahaya Bello is the actual mastermind, then it is unfortunate. It is definitely a sad narrative that such a young man who became Governor in uncertain and strange circumstance could order the arrest of a citizen whose only offence was the exercise of right to free speech. This is absolutely crude and despotic and should be condemned by all lovers of democracy worldwide," he added.

Shaibu wondered what Bello would have done if he were  in the shoes of his immediate predecessor, Captain Idris Wada who was widely insulted, publicly embarrassed and attacked in the media but maintained a cool mien.

"Everyone in Kogi State and Nigeria knows what I did to Captain Idris Wada. I consistently lampooned the immediate past Governor. There were so many of us including but not limited to some of the media aides to the present Governor. Not once was any of us threatened or arrested because Wada concentrated on the positive side of our criticism of his administration and tried to make peace with everyone," he disclosed.

Shaibu asked Governor Yahaya to order the release of Comrade Okai and seek the path of rectitude, while further advising the governor to change his leadership style.

Similarly, Lere Olayinka, spokesman to the Ekiti state governor has condemned Okai’s continuous detention

“Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State is under 45, and he is behaving like a tyrant. What if he is the President,” he said via Twitter.

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