Governor Mala Buni of Yobe State has ordered the immediate release of a teenager detained by the police for allegedly insulting him.
Mr Buni stated this in a statement by his Director-General of Press and Media Affairs, Mamman Mohammed, in Damaturu, the state capital on Tuesday.
Sixteen years old Umar was reportedly arrested by the police on 11 December in Nguru for allegedly insulting the governor on social media.
He was later transfered to the State Investigation Division in Damaturu.
His arrest became public knowledge when his father, Garba Isa, called on the police to release his son.
“I regret what my son did. I am nobody, an ordinary laundry man. What my son (Umar) did was totally wrong. I appeal to Governor Mai Mala Buni and the police on compassionate grounds to forgive my son and release him,” Mr Isa reportedly said.
I’m not aware – Buni
Mr Buni, who said he was not aware of the arrest and detention, added that it was grossly unnecessary to arrest anyone for insulting or criticising him.
“This is the price of leadership and we are fully conscious of it, therefore, l couldn’t have ordered nor condoned the detention of anyone.
“Until someone drew my attention to it, l wasn’t aware of his arrest and detention, l have now directed his immediate release from detention,” the Governor was quoted in the statement.
Mr Buni, however, said that although his administration ran an open government, contributions and criticisms should be constructive and meaningful.
“Social media users are also reminded to be responsive and responsible, to respect the rights of everyone, political party, religious and socio-cultural differences, most especially as the political campaigns are ongoing,” he said.
Umar was arrested a few days after Aminu Azare, a student of the Federal University, Duties, Jigawa State, was released from detention for criticising Aisha, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari.
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