Nigerian Govt Critic, Dadiyata Is Still Missing 90 Days After His ‘Abduction’
“As he was about to lock the gate, two men accosted him and took him away in his car,” Dadiyata’s wife told Premium Times in August.
Dadiyata, a lecturer at the Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State, and supporter of former Kano State governor Rabiu Kwakwanso, is a critic of the All Progressive Congress and the APC governor in Kano State Umar Ganduje.
Ganduje served as deputy governor under Kwankwaso from 2011 to 2015, when both men were members of the APC. However, their relationship became acrimonious after Ganduje succeeded Kwankwaso in 2015 and they have since remained rivals.
Kidnap or arrest?
One of the major uncertainties around Dadiyata’s disappearance is if he was kidnapped or arrested.
The opposition People’s Democratic Party described Dadiyata’s disappearance as an “apparent desperation to intimidate, suppress and silence public opinion and free speech in Nigeria as well as to further entrench a siege mentality on our citizenry.”
“The PDP, therefore, demands the DSS high command to speak out as well as take urgent steps to secure the release of Idris from his abductors before it is too late,” Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the opposition party, said in a statement.
But the DSS have since claimed ignorance of Dadiyata whereabouts.
What has happened?
“Unfortunately, this does not look like the conventional kidnapping we know,” Kaduna police spokesperson, Abubakar Sabo, told Premium Times in September.
“They did not call for any ransom and did not disclose any whereabouts of the victim,” he added.
“The police are still on the investigation,” Sabo, a deputy police superintendent, said.
His disappearance has also sparked outrage on social media, with many justifying his right to freedom of speech and demanding his release.
Not only Dadiyata, but many other government critics have also been threatened/arrested.
Harassment and illegal arrests of critics and journalists is a common occurence. Most recently, Nigerian journalist Fisayo Soyombo went underground for eight days to avoid a purported arrest by the Nigerian government after his investigation reports exposed the rot in Nigeria police cells and prisons.
Sahara Reporters founder and also one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s challengers in the 2019 presidential poll, Omoyele Sowore is facinga lawsuit filed by the Nigerian government weeks after he was arrested and detained by the DSS for calling for a nationwide protest against the government.
In 2018, a member of the House of Representatives caused police to arrest and detain a journalist working with Daily Trust, one Musa Krishi, for allegedly publishing an advertorial purported to be critical of the parliamentarian.
Jones Abiri, editor of the Weekly Source, was detained without charge in 2016 and denied contact with his family or a lawyer, for over two years.
In January began on a bad side for a local news media as soldiers simultaneously invaded the offices of the Daily Trust newspaper in Abuja and its outstation in Maiduguri, arrested the regional editor, and carted away computers and laptops for publishing classified military information, thus, purportedly undermining national security.
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