Nigeria: Top Ganduje Critic Dadiyata Clocks 100 Days in Captivity

12 November 2019

One hundred days after he was abducted from his home in Kaduna, a top critic of Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State has not been found, tempting his family to gradually lose hope.

Abubakar Idris (better known by his pseudonym: Dadiyata), a social media personality known for his strong criticism of Mr Ganduje and the ruling All Progressives Congress, was seized from his residence by unidentified assailants on August 2.

The armed men entered his residence in Barnawa neighbourhood as he was returning home at about 1 a.m. The men, whom Mr Idris' family said wore red caps, descended on him and took him away in his BMW vehicle. The vehicle has also not been found more than three months later.

The 34-year-old university lecturer was more prominent for his frequent denunciation of Mr Ganduje and his policies in Kano, but he has been living in Kaduna with his family for many years. The government has denied any links to his abduction.

Although the police said they launched immediate action to free Mr Idris from his abductors, the famous social media commentator has not been found more than 100 days later. The police also said they received several leads, but none had resulted in locating Mr Idris.

Several activists have joined calls for authorities to ensure Mr Idris' safe return to his family. The Amnesty International printed a flyer with his picture as part of a campaign to force government action.

Haneefa Idris said the family's hopes are waning each day that passes without good news about her husband.

"We are now more agitated but we do not want to expect the unthinkable now," Mrs Idris said to PREMIUM TIMES by telephone on Tuesday afternoon. "We are getting many rumours about his whereabouts, but none could be confirmed."

Mrs Idris said the police detectives working on the matter remained in touch with the family and promised to do their best.

The Kaduna police spokesperson, Abubakar Sabo, had told PREMIUM TIMES Mr Idris' case was unusual for the state, which has some of the highest cases of abduction in the country.

Abductors typically reach out to a victim's family within 24 to 48 hours, but Mr Sabo said Mr Idris' case was different since several weeks had passed and no one had been in touch.

"Unfortunately, this does not look like the conventional kidnapping we know," the police chief said one month after the incident. "They did not call for any ransom and did not disclose any whereabouts of the victim."

Mr Sabo could not be reached for comments about the status of the police investigation into the incident 100 days later.

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