Former Zamfara governor Abdul’aziz Yari arrested by DSS for refusing to pick Tinubu’s call

The Department of State Services (DSS) has reportedly arrested and detained former Zamfara governor Abdul’aziz Yari for refusing to respond to telephone calls from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Yari, who is an incumbent senator representing Zamfara West senatorial district has already spent two nights in custody having been arrested on Thursday, July 6, 2023.

A source, an official, who spoke on the development on condition of anonymity said the DSS detained him for “thinking the president is a joke,”

The source said; “He was asked why he ignored the president’s phone calls during the Senate leadership battle.”

“He started arguing that he has every right to contest for the position and decisions about his political career moves should not come from the president.”

The president was trying to appeal to him to stand down his ambition to make sure any fate similar to how Bukola Saraki became Senate President in 2015 won’t be repeated,”

“We all knew that Saraki’s emergence back then was the first error President Buhari made, and it crippled his first four years in office,” the official said.

Sources said Yari received a call from Yusuf Bichi, the director-general, to report at the SSS’ headquarters for an urgent discussion. Upon arrival, Yari was asked to wait for Bichi, who purportedly stepped out.

But the senator was delayed throughout the day by a phalanx of armed SSS agents, only to be told at about 10:00 p.m. Thursday that he won’t be going home. The senator’s planned visit with other Senate colleagues to former President Ibrahim Babangida on Friday was consequently aborted. 

“His phones were confiscated, and he may be spending days, if not weeks, in custody,” the source added.

A spokesman for the SSS sidestepped questions about the development on Friday.

Recall that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had designated the South-South region as the rightful holder of the Senate President position in the 10th Assembly, with Senator Godswill Akpabio being their preferred candidate. Additionally, Senator Jubrin Barau from the North West was selected as the favoured candidate for the deputy Senate President position.

However, this designation faced resistance from several lawmakers, with Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari being one of the prominent figures opposing the decision.

Eventually, Yari failed to garner enough votes for the position, but his Senate associates have alleged irregularities and may challenge the outcome in court.

This could set him on a collision course with the president, with officials warning of dire consequences for Yari’s political future should he proceed with the lawsuit.

By Temitope Hassan