Controversy trails detention of ex-Zamfara Gov, Sen Yari by DSS
~ As agency’s spokesman denies knowledge of arrest
Another round of controversy is brewing in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) following the arrest of the former governor of Zamfara State by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) over his alleged role to cause unrest in the red chambers of the national assembly.
Senator Abdulaziz Yari has called the bluff of the party in zoning the senate presidency to south south and threw his hat into the contest which returned Sen Godswill Akpabio as the senate president.
Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Thursday, arrested former Governor of Zamfara State Abdul’aziz Yari and took him into custody, it was learnt on Saturday morning.
However, a source said Yari was being detained for being the arrowhead of a fresh plot to destabilise the 10th Senate after his bid to become the Senate President failed and not because of tussle for the job of Senate President last month.
According to the source, “Following the announcement of Principal Officers of the Senate on Tuesday by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, some northern Senators who were said to be unhappy with the choice of those who emerged were said to have approached Yari in the Chambers were they complained bitterly to him that Akpabio had abandoned them despite their support for him.
“The DSS got to know of this development that he is becoming a rallying point for opposition against Akpabio especially from the North and decided to pick him up for questioning.
“Yes, he is in DSS custody but his arrest is not in connection with his bid to emerge the Senate President on June 13. This is an entirely new development,” said one of Yari’s aides who spoke to The Nation in confidence.
Responding to a question, the aide said: “People (lawmakers) who were not happy with the announcement of Principal Officers even within the APC who voted for Akpabio, some of them complained to Yari that look at the man we followed and abandoned you, this is how he has treated us.
“I think somebody alerted them in Aso Rock that they are discussing with Yari and Yari was becoming the rallying point for some aggrieved Northern senators, so that was when the President made that call to him and he ignored it.
“The call was not made in June. It was on Thursday this week. This is why the DSS invited him and later detained him.”
However, the Public Relations Officer of DSS National Headquarters, Dr. Peter Afunanya, has denied knowledge of the arrest and detention of Yari by the nation’s premier secret police.
In a Short Message Service (SMS) to one of The Nation’s correspondents who had called him to confirm if Senator Yari was in the agency’s custody, Afunanya simply replied: “I don’t know.”
But another source close to the former governor said Yari was invited by the secret police after plenary on Thursday.
The source claimed that he escorted the lawmaker to the DSS office to honour its invitation.
“Senator Yari is still in the DSS custody, but he should be out soon in sha ’Allah. He went to their office himself after the plenary. I escorted him there and he has been there since then,” the source said.
He, however, did not disclose why the lawmaker was invited by the security agency.
Peoples Gazette, an online publication, had earlier reported that Yari was arrested by the secret police after receiving a call from the director-general, Yusuf Bichi, to report at the DSS headquarters for an urgent discussion.
When our correspondent tried to reach the lawmaker on Saturday, his mobile phone indicated that it was switched off.
Yari went against the All Progressives Congress zoning arrangement by contesting the Senate presidency with the party’s choice, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who eventually emerged victorious in the election for the president of the upper legislative chamber.