The Department of State Services (DSS) has reportedly arrested Tukur Mamu, publisher of Desert Herald, at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano.
Mamu who is a media consultant to Ahmed Gumi, the popular Islamic cleric, was at the forefront of negotiations for the release of the Kaduna-train captives.
TheCable had reported how Mamu was earlier detained at the Cairo International Airport in Egypt while he was on his way to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.
According to Daily Trust, DSS operatives were stationed at the entrance of the international wing of the airport in Kano minutes before the aircraft bringing Mamu landed.
The newspaper said heavily armed operatives who were also in company of others dressed in mufti, were on guard at the entrance of the arrival section of the international wing while the three vehicles with Kano plate numbers (two Hilux and one Hiace) packed at the entrance.
Soon as passengers began to come out from the arrival section, the paper said one of the hilux moved forward while luggages, presumably of Mamu and his family members were loaded in one of the other two vehicles.
Mamu and his family were reportedly conveyed in the Hiace bus after they were apprehended at the entrance of the aircraft.
Peter Afunaya, spokesperson of the DSS, was not immediately available to comment on the incident.
Meanwhile, the management of the Kaduna-based Desert Herald has accused the federal government of being behind the arrest of its publisher.
“In its efforts to intimidate and harass the publisher of Desert Herald newspaper, Malam Tukur Mamu, the federal government has surreptitiously contrived the arrest and deportation of the publisher as well as members of his family while on their way to the holy land for lesser Hajj,” the paper’s management said in a statement.
“On arrival in Cairo, Malam Tukur Mamu and family members were arrested and detained for almost 24 hours and later deported back to Nigeria on the strict request and instructions of Nigeria government.
“Mallam Tukur Mamu is a responsible citizen who voluntarily engaged in negotiations that led to the release of about 20 passengers of the ill fated train hijacked by gunmen.
“His patriotic mission to ensure the safety of the hapless passengers made him a target of blackmail by unscrupulous elements in the government who are hell-bent on punishing him for this noble but dangerous sacrifice for the fatherland. Such threats and intimidations have forced him to reveal a number of times that his life was under serious threat.
“Due to numerous threats to his life and conspiracy from the side of security agents to frame him, he withdrew from the said negotiations but from his latest sojourn, it appears that those who are desperately praying for his head are still hell-bent in carrying out their odious dastardly plans.”