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Nigerian journalist still in custody over Facebook post critical of Buhari administration Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON (TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA) – The erstwhile Politics Editor of DailyTrust newspaper, Mr. Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, is still in the custody of the Department of Security Services (DSS), six days after he was arrested over a Facebook Post on RevolutionNow Protest.

The Muslim journalist who is fasting preparatory to the Eid-Kabir would observe the Islamic Celebration in detention rather than with his family as customary.

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As at 8pm Saturday evening, Dan-Halilu was still with Kaduna Command of the secret service they awaited further directives from the DSS Headquarters in Abuja.

PRNigeria gathered that the DSS operatives had questioned Dan-Halilu on whether he has any acquaintance or professional relationship with Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow, a group which agitated for a revolution in the country (earlier in the week).  They also questioned the motive of his ‘provoking’ Facebook post.

He responded that he merely expressed his opinions like every other Nigerians who have right to air their grievances and express their displeasure over burning national issues without necessarily belonging to any group.

Though the secret service is yet to find any incriminating proof or evidence as to the claim that Mr. Dan-Halilu secretly lended a ‘tacit’ support for change of government thorough any violent revolution, the ‘stubborn’ resolve to still keep him in custody is disturbing to most of his associates who are aware of his staunch support of President Buhari until 2018.

Meanwhile, Mr. Dan-Halilu’s lawyers are working assiduously behind the scene to ensure the veteran Editor regain his freedom without unnecessary delay.

Ibrahim Dan-Halilu was arrested in Kaduna for allegedly supporting the activities of RevolutionNow in a Facebook post. The group, which is agitating for a revolution movement in Nigeria, was convened by Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters and Presidential Candidate of Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2019 election.

Mr. Dan-Halilu a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu before the 2015 elections and was once a communication specialist with USAID, Information Assistant at the US Embassy and a Regional Communication Specialist for Family Health.

The post reads: “I feel I should share because it resonates with me. If (it) resonates with you too, please share until all oppressed people of Nigeria get the message and domesticate it. This is #not the Nigeria of my dream.

“Somebody asked me why we need a revolution now, this was my reply: The aim of the revolution is to challenge the uncommon hardship (and) why we have 16m children on the street; challenge why we have become the poverty capital of the world; challenge why we have 20 persons with corrupt cases as federal legislators and would-be ministers.

“We need to restructure the country. We need to put an end to trillions spent on electricity while we live in darkness and pay the estimated bill for electricity and meters. Why do we have huge oil reserves but our refineries are dead and we are re-importing what we exported as crude oil? It is time to ask why those in government travel abroad for medical care when they have left our hospitals dilapidated; why they send their children to school abroad when our children learn under mango trees.

“We are revolting against the continuing killings that have left 20,000 Nigerians dead while those in an office move around under state-paid security and do nothing. We are revolting against this because over a thousand Nigerians soldiers killed by Boko Haram have been secretly buried without identifiable graves, dignity or honour. $16m was purportedly spent on mosquito nets but our children die daily from malaria. $320m Abacha loot was purportedly distributed to the poor. Where is the verifiable list? N500bn was purportedly distributed to the poor as so-called Trader-Moni. Where is the verifiable list?

“…With divine grace, God gave us about 40 natural resources spread across the length and breadth of the country. No country on mother earth is as blessed! The persons destroying Nigeria in and out of government are less than 10,000. For how long will the 201 million of us be silent? Forever? It will be sheer stupidity and very unfair of us to be silent and bequeath today’s sorry Nigeria to our children. For how long shall we continue to endure bad leadership from certificate forgers, election riggers, ritualists and yahoo politicians, hoping upon hope for a better tomorrow when things get worse by the day? We are too rich to be poor. We are too blessed to be a mockery of the world!!! No!!!”

A security source, who spoke to PRNigeria in confidence, confirmed that DSS operatives had invited the former DailyTrust Editor for interrogation on why he endorsed the protest.

He said, “Contrary to the speculation going round, DSS just wants to get some necessary clarification from Mr Dan-Halilu on vital security issues. That’s all and nothing more.”

The #RevolutionNow protest held in major cities across the country on Monday.

Over 20 people were arrested across the country.

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