A 37- year-old primary school teacher in Kwara State, Biodun Baba, who was arraigned before a magistrates’ court in Ilorin for allegedly insulting Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Facebook has narrated how he got into the trouble.
Baba said apart from being dragged to court, he was also fired from his job for commenting on a Facebook post by one Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and sharing another about the Senate President.
He said members of the APC took the matter upon them and expelled him from the party while accusing him of posting so many anti-Saraki articles on social media.
Recounting his ordeal to Punch, he said, “I commented on a post on the Facebook page of the factional Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo.
“Oyedepo had posted on his Facebook page the day that the Senate President was discharged and acquitted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and I wrote in the comment section that if, ‘somebody believes that he is above everybody, he is not above the judgment of God. If Saraki has been discharged by the CCT, has he been discharged by God?’
“Abdulazeez Azeez, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, was particularly angry when he read my comment. He went to the elders of the party in my ward to report me, saying I abused the Senate President. I told them that I did not abuse him and that I just commented on someone else’s post.
“I told them that I merely exercised my freedom of expression. They called a meeting of the executives of the ward to discuss the matter. At the end of the meeting, they announced my suspension from the All Progressives Congress for three months.
“That was about a week after my Facebook post. I have not been recalled up till now. After that, there was another post on Facebook which I shared. The message was: ‘Presidency, Osinbajo replies Saraki on Magu issue.’
“I was not the one that wrote it but I shared it. They saw it on my wall, so they expressed anger again and accused me of posting another message.
“They summoned me to another meeting at my ward. From there, they said they would expel me totally from the party. They went to the APC local government secretariat and summoned me to the place; I went there to explain myself.
“I told them I wrote the first one but that I just shared the second one. They did not agree with me because it appeared that the ward chairman had poisoned their minds.
“After that, we went to the state secretariat of the party to meet all the stakeholders there. They included the state Chairman of APC, Mr. Jimoh Adesina, Mr. Isiaka Oniwa, Mr. Ishola Bolagun- Fulani and the woman leader, Ramat Oganija, among others.
“The ward chairman brought a lot of people to testify against me. I was the only one on the other side. They said a lot of things about me. They searched for my name and accused me of abusing Bukola Saraki when he was turbaned as the Baba Adinni.
“They alleged that I wrote many things which I did not write. Again, the state party executives did not believe me. One of them, Oniwa, stood up from where they were seated and asked me where I was working. I said I worked at the LGEA Primary School in the Moro Local Government Area of the state.
“He then shouted, ‘Ahh! I am the one that built that school. I will expel you from that job. I will fire you from that job.’ He sat down. It was at that point that Adesina stood up and vowed to use his personal money for my prosecution because I (allegedly) abused the party leader in the state. He is the one that took me to court.
“After that, one of those on the high table said, “This case will not stop here. Let us call security officers to arrest this boy.” He was referring to me.
“They called the Department of State Services to arrest me on that day. Two officials of the DSS came and dragged me to their office in Ilorin. They gave me a form to write an undertaking that I will never abuse the senate president again.
“That was what I wrote. Three days after, I got a call from my headmaster that the Secretary of the Local Government Area Education Primary School had said he should fire me.
“I immediately went to the secretary to confirm whether it was true or not. When I got there, he confirmed that the secretary was asked to fire me. My parents and family members were worried that they would fire me from my job. They took me to Oniwa to beg him.
“Initially, I refused to follow them, but they prevailed on me. At the end of the day, he agreed to look into the case.”