Sirajo Saidu, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s staunch supporters on Facebook, has dumped the president. He has now declared support for a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Mr Saidu, from Sokoto State, said his decision was influenced by the recent kidnap of five of his brothers by bandits.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how bandits on December 12 abducted over 20 people in separate attacks on communities in Wurno Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
Immediately after the abduction, Mr Saidu took to his Facebook page to announce that five of his brothers were among the 20 residents abducted.
“All the five men taken in our house are my brothers. The bandits didn’t kill anyone in our community but they took many people in that operation alone. We are waiting for them (bandits) to call for the ransom. Please include my brothers and other victims in your prayers,” he wrote in Hausa, the language he uses to communicate with his over 4,000 followers and about 5,000 friends on Facebook.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES two days after the abduction, Mr Saidu said the kidnappers had contacted the family and family members had started contributing money to pay the ransom. He, however, did not state the amount requested.
I’m now for Kwankwaso
Mr Saidu, who is popular on social media for attacking critics of the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC), said his reason for dumping Mr Buhari was because no one helped him and his family members to raise the ransom money.
“Today, being Wednesday 29 of December 2021, I, Surajo Saidu Sokoto have dumped the Buhariyya (a Hausa coinage for Buhari supporters) team and have now joined the Kwankwasiya (a coinage for Me Kwankwaso) team. Because bandits abducted my five siblings and I posted it several times but we paid the ransom money and none of them helped me,” he wrote.
On his Facebook profile, where Mr Buhari’s picture used to be, Mr Saidu has now replaced it with that of Mr Kwankwaso.
Mr Kwankwaso, a former Kano governor, is a member of the opposition party, PDP. He sought the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2019 but lost to Atiku Abubakar who eventually lost in the general election to Mr Buhari.
Mr Saidu had, in the past, accused ‘enemies of Arewa’, Nigerian journalists and many others of trying to sabotage Mr Buhari’s administration.
He once wrote that he would lead the State Security Service to launch a House to House arrest of critics of Mr Buhari in Sokoto for distracting the president.
His most recent post praising Mr Buhari was on Monday, December 27. He posted a picture of the president and wrote:
“I feel happy whenever I see the picture of Baba Buhari smiling.”
More Pro-Buhari Posts
“Even if insecurity will lead to our death in the north, we’ll never leave Buhari. We’ll continue to follow him and be patient until when God bring and end to the issue. We know that a responsible person like Buhari can never cheat us his kinsmen,” Mr Saidu wrote once wrote on Facebook.
“In history, I’m the most maligned Buhari’s supporter whose parents are carelessly insulted on social media by Buhari’s critics,” he said in another post, which had 175 comments and four shares.
“God may admit me into his Jannah (paradise) due to the level of insult on my parents because of my support for Buhari,” he wrote in another post which had 223 comments and was shared 58 times.
‘It serves him right’
Meanwhile, Facebook users who felt ‘insulted’ by Mr Saidu’s earlier posts eulogizing Mr Buhari and accusing his critics of exaggerating the security situation in the North-west, have been making scathing comments on his latest post dumping the president.
A popular Facebook user, Arewa Queen, shared the post and wrote “So, Mr Sirajo Saidu has finally felt Baba Buhari’s cane 😂😂😂”
Abdurahman Yunusa said, “This is karma in its truest truest form. May God save your brothers.”
Ahmad Ishaq, who is also from Sokoto, said, “No way! You must continue supporting the Buhari’s administration.”
Insecurity in North-west
The kidnap of Mr Saidu’s brothers is not a unique occurrence. Armed persons routinely attack communities in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna State, killing and kidnapping at will. Thousands of people have been killed or kidnapped in the North-west states in 2021 despite the massive deployment of security operatives to the area.
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