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MAN IN THE NEWS: Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the rebel in the house

MAN IN THE NEWS: Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the rebel in the house
February 28
14:15 2021

“Don’t bite hands that feed you… na where person dey work, na em e dey chop” — this is a popular saying among Nigerians. 


It is a popularly held belief among Nigerians that those ”who are eating” must observe good table manners. In other words, those enjoying the benefits of government must not speak critically about that government.

But Salihu Tanko Yakasai has decided to break that ”table protocol”. He has chosen the path of rebellion.

On Saturday, Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, sacked Tanko Yakasai, his spokesman, for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari.


According to Muhammad Garba, the state commissioner for information,  Tanko Yakasai was dismissed for his “continued unguarded comments”.

Garba said Tanko Yakasai’s comments are contrary to the position of the All Progressives Congress-led government which he works for.



Tanko Yakasai had accused the APC of failing to secure the lives and property of Nigerians following the abduction of students from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata-Mafara local government area of Zamfara.

He described the recent cases of kidnapping as a shame while calling on the government to deal decisively with terrorists or resign.

“Clearly, we as APC government, at all levels, have failed Nigerians in the number 1 duty we were elected to do which is to secure lives & properties. Not a single day goes by without some sort of insecurity in this land. This is a shame! Deal with terrorists decisively or resign,” he said in a Twitter post.

Less than 24 hours after he made the post, Tanko Yakasai was picked up by the Department of State Services (DSS).


The secret police, which confirmed he was in its custody, said he is being investigated “over issues beyond the expression of opinions in the social media as wrongly alleged by sections of the public”.


This is not the first time that Tanko Yakasi, son of Tanko Yakasai, a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), will be criticising the APC administration.

He got himself suspended in October 2020 after he criticised Buhari for failing to address the nation over calls by Nigerians to disband the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police.


He also said the president lacks empathy for failing to speak to Nigerians.

“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,” he had written.

“I have never seen a government with zero empathy like that of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

He was later reinstated after two weeks. But, apparently, Tanko Yakasai cannot turn a blind eye to national issues and the failure of the government he serves in.


In April 2020, Ganduje also suspended Muazu Magaji, then commissioner for works and infrastructure in Kano.

Magaji was suspended for his “unguarded utterances” over the demise of Abba Kyari, the late chief of staff to Buhari.

Tanko Yakasai did not need an oracle to tell him his comment would displease his principal. There were precedents; so, he knew the consequence of his action — but he damned it anyway.


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