The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Ben Bako, director, media and publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organisation. TheCable understands that the secret police had earlier invited Bako over “inciting comments” he made at a PDP rally in Kafancha, earlier in the week.
Bako had told party members to deal with those who go against the PDP during the election. “The DSS invited him yesterday over the comments he made during the PDP campaign in Kafanchan,” a top member of the party who did not want to be quoted, said.
The source criticised the security agency, describing the act as an attempt to muzzle opposition. Abraham Catoh, the spokesman of the PDP in the state, told TheCable on Sunday morning that Bako was arrested when he honoured the invitation and was flown to Abuja after two hours of grilling by the DSS in Kaduna.
“We are addressing a press conference on this issue this morning,” he said, declining further comments. Peter Afunnaya, the spokesman of the DSS, could not be reached as of the time this report was filed. The Buhari administration had warned against hate speech, saying it will no longer tolerate such.
At a retreat in Aso Rock, two years ago, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had described it as an act of terrorism, saying the government intended to take the matter seriously. “As I have said, we have drawn a line against hate speech, it will not be tolerated, it will be taken as an act of terrorism and all of the consequences will follow,” he had said.
“When leaders in communities that speak in such a manner to create dissension or intimidate the population are quiet, they do a great disservice to our unity, they do a great disservice to our nation.”