On Facebook, one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s most ardent supporters, Sirajo Saidu, has abandoned the president. He has now declared his support for Rabiu Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano State.

Mr Saidu, from Sokoto State, said the recent kidnapping of five of his brothers by bandits influenced his decision.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on December 12 that bandits abducted over 20 people in separate attacks on communities in Sokoto State’s Wurno Local Government Area.

Mr Saidu announced on his Facebook page shortly after the abduction that five of his brothers were among the 20 residents kidnapped.

“My brothers are all among the five men apprehended in our home. The bandits did not kill anyone in our community, but they did abduct a large number of people in that single operation. We’re waiting for the ransom to be demanded by them (the bandits). Please remember to pray for my brothers and other victims “He wrote in Hausa, the language he uses to communicate with his Facebook friends and over 4,000 followers.

Mr Saidu told PREMIUM TIMES two days after the kidnapping that the kidnappers had contacted his family and that members of his family had begun contributing money to pay the ransom. He did not, however, specify the amount requested.

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I’m now a Kwankwaso supporter.

Mr Saidu, who is known for attacking critics of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on social media, said he dumped Mr Buhari because no one helped him and his family raise the ransom money.

“I, Surajo Saidu Sokoto, have dumped the Buhariyya (a Hausa coinage for Buhari supporters) team and have now joined the Kwankwasiya (a Hausa coinage for Me Kwankwaso) team as of today, December 29, 2021. Because bandits kidnapped my five siblings and I posted it on social media several times, but we paid the ransom money and none of them came to my aid, “he penned

Mr Saidu has replaced Mr Buhari’s picture on his Facebook profile with that of Mr Kwakwanso.

Former Kano governor Mr Kwankwaso is a member of the opposition PDP. In 2019, he ran for the PDP presidential ticket but was defeated by Atiku Abubakar, who went on to lose the general election to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Saidu has previously accused ‘enemies of Arewa,’ Nigerian journalists, and others of attempting to destabilize President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He previously stated that he would lead the State Security Service in launching a House to House arrest of Mr Buhari’s critics in Sokoto in order to distract him.

On Monday, December 27, he posted a message praising Mr Buhari. He captioned a photo of the president, ”

“Whenever I see a picture of Baba Buhari smiling, it makes me happy.”

More Buhari-Favorable Posts
“We’ll never leave Buhari, even if insecurity leads to our deaths in the north.” We’ll keep following him and waiting for God to put an end to the problem. Mr Saidu once wrote on Facebook, “We know that a responsible person like Buhari will never deceive his kinsmen.”

“I’m the most maligned Buhari supporter in history, whose parents are carelessly insulted on social media by Buhari’s critics,” he wrote in another post, which received 175 comments and four shares.

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“God may admit me into his Jannah (paradise) due to the level of insult on my parents as a result of my support for Buhari,” he wrote in another post that received 223 comments and 58 shares.

‘It’s a good thing for him.’
Meanwhile, Facebook users who were ‘offended’ by Mr Saidu’s earlier posts praising Mr Buhari and accusing his critics of exaggerating the security situation in the North-west have been blasting him in his latest post.

Arewa Queen, a popular Facebook user, shared the post, writing, “So, Mr Sirajo Saidu has finally felt Baba Buhari’s cane.”

“This is karma in its purest form,” Abdurahman Yunusa said. May God help you and your brothers.”

“No way!” said Ahmad Ishaq, a Sokoto resident. You must continue to back President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”

North-western insecurity
The kidnapping of Mr Saidu’s brothers is not unusual. Armed individuals regularly attack communities in the states of Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna, killing and kidnapping people at will. Thousands of people have been killed or kidnapped in the North-West states in 2021, despite massive security deployments in the area.

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