Aminu Muhammad’s arrest unmistakable abuse of power – Gimba Kakanda


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A Nigerian writer, Gimba Kakanda, has described the arrest of a university student, Aminu Muhammad by security agents suspected to be acting on the orders of First Lady Aisha Buhari as “an unmistakable abuse of power”.

He said that the arrest and alleged brutalization of the student has “sparked a multi-million Naira public relations disaster”.

Kakanda, who is a Daily Trust columnist, stated these in the latest installment of his column in the paper titled, “Free Aminu Muhammad”, published on Wednesday.

Read more about Aminu Muhammad’s story here…

Gimba Kakanda - Aminu Muhammad

“At 23, unknown and studying in a dormant Northern town, Aminu Adamu Muhammad couldn’t have imagined himself in this movie-like plot featuring the wife of the President. He’s become a trending hashtag because of a tweet in which he attributed Aisha Buhari’s sudden weight gain to, in the simplest inference, corruption. “Mama has eaten her fill of poor people’s money,” he wrote in Hausa on the microblogging site, along with the image of a conspicuously overweight Mrs. Buhari.

“The #FreeAminu campaign on social media is a clamour for his release, but it’s still unclear whether Mrs. Buhari or some sycophantic security chief authorised Mr. Muhammad’s arrest. The account of the victim’s father, as told by BBC Hausa, painted that the young student of Federal University Dutse called to share that he was abducted from school and taken to the Presidential Villa, where he was brutally punished and detained,” Kakanda wrote.

Kakanda added that the ordeal of the 500-level student of Federal University, Dutse in Jigawa state has brought to the fore various moral hypocrisies and a polarising debate on the limits of free speech.

He said that wherever anyone stood on the matter, the student’s human rights overrode any other ethical observation.

“Even if Mrs. Buhari’s weight gain was due to an underlying illness, which is likely the case, Mr. Muhammad isn’t legally obligated to be sensitive, and that makes the arrest an unmistakable abuse of power.

“If the intention was to intimidate the young man, that move has already sparked a multi-million Naira public relations disaster,” Kakanda asserted.

He added, “It’s human to appeal for empathy in analyzing anyone dealing with a weight problem, only that it’s illogical to cite “fat-shaming” as a problem in a story where the supposed provocateur has been illegally arrested and allegedly brutalized.

“The victim in this story is the helpless citizen abducted from his school, held against his will, and subjected to dehumanizing treatment, if the accounts of his family are accurate.”

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