In what will come across as a rather shocking development, a junior secondary school student has been arrested in Nasarawa State just for expressing his political views.
Hon. Gabriel Akaaka, the commissioner for environment in Nasarawa State, has ordered the arrest and detention of a 17-year-old JSS 3 student, Stephen Terlumum Tabulo, for openly declaring support to the 2019 senatorial bid of Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura on facebook.
According to The Sun News, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) team of the state police command, on Monday afternoon, acting on the instructions of the commissioner of environment arrested and detained Tabulo for insisting on facebook that the Tiv people in Nasarawa South senatorial districts would vote massively for Governor Al-makura to go to the senate in 2019, a development that did not go down well with the commissioner.
The controversy began when one Hon. Peter Igbacher, an ally of the commissioner lifted a story published in Daily Sun of 2nd November 2017 with a caption ‘2019: stakeholders plot against Almakura’s senatorial ambition’ on his facebook page which generate reactions from members of the constituency.
Tabulo had allegedly accused Akaaka of holding clandestine meetings with Alago people to stop the senatorial ambition of the governor in 2019.
Some of the contributions which landed Stephen Tabulo to detention read thus “TA,AL (Almakura’s nickname) is already declared as a winner in 2019, they can’t stop TA,AL to win 2019 senate, Tanko Al-makura is our best candidate in 2019.”
Speaking to journalists after he was granted bail at the police station, Tabulo, who is the commissioner’s kinsman, said his only offence was his open declaration for the senatorial bid of the governor in 2019 against the wish of the Environment commissioner.
According to him “Im a JSS III student at Government Secondary School Adudu, Lafia local government area of Nasarawa state, I came to lafia to visit my elder brother when I decided to contribute to a facebook discussion on the wall of Hon Peter Igbacher where I declared my full support to the senatorial ambition of the governor
“My only offence is my support to the governor’s ambition, the SARS policemen traced me throughout the weekend on the order of the commissioner and later arrested me on Monday afternoon at the residence of the councilor representing Assakyo ward, Hon. Dauglas Charmeh, they told me that my offence was my comment on facebook declaring support for the governor’s senate ambition,” Tabulo said.
He said that his arrest and detention would not deter him from supporting the governor to go to the Senate in 2019, noting that his support was based on justice, equity and fairness and vowed to continue to identify with the governor. The teenager also urged the Tiv people to remain united and support Governor Al-makura to succeed.
When contacted the Commissioner for Environment said he has regretted his actions by ordering the police to arrest the boy. He said that he would call the police to withdraw the matter.