The recent arrest and detention of the leader of the PDP youth frontier, Mr Usman Okai Austin by security agents has ones again exposed the intolerance to constructive criticism and the length the present administration is willing to go in playing a dirty politics of witch hunt, acrimony, bitterness and animosity. The pettiness displayed so far by the Yahaya Bello administration by abandoning the very serious business of governance to rather concentrate and channel more resource towards fighting and the clamp down on constructive critics and members of the opposition political parties is to say the list unfortunate and immature.
Let me remind the present occupants of Lugard House that the 1999 constitution allows and guarantees freedom of expression and free speech, and that a healthy opposition and criticism within the ambient of sanity and the law is a feature of a multi party democracy. It is tantamount to wickedness when you beat a child and order him not to cry. I honestly do not see anything wrong in demanding and advocating for good governance and that the government should give the welfare of the masses the deserved priority. Imagine if President Muhammadu Buhari was to order an arrest of his critics and members of the opposition political parties who merely demanded good governance that means a half of the Nigerian population would be in detention by now.
Usman Okai Austin isn’t just an opposition political party member or a PDP youth leader, he is an advocate of good governance, a human right activist and the mouth piece for the oppressed in Kogi state. There are very pressing matters requiring urgent attention and action in the state, and the arrest and clamp down on critics and opposition political party members isn’t one of them. I therefore call on Gov Yahaya Bello to urgently order the release of this patriot in order not to further heat up the already tensed political atmosphere in the state.