If you are a Nigerian or living in Nigeria you must have read or heard about the burning matter of Isa Pantami, a Minister of Communications and ICT in Nigeria.
In case you do not fully get all that has been happening with Isa Pantami here’s a summarised low down of what has been boiling for the past few days.
- Isa Pantami was alleged to have made incendiary and extremist Islamic comments earlier in his career as an Islamic cleric. He was alledged to be listed in the US terror watchlist in a publication by a western source.
- By virtue of this information several sources started to question why a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be on a Terrorism watchlist and still remain in government. Several online news publications published articles on this revelation
- Isa Pantami replied on Twitter stating he was going to take those publishers to court for defamation. One particular publication retracted their article but the others like Gazette NG doubled down and dug in deeper
- Some of these news publications published further details and instances corroborating their view that Isa Pantami is an Islamic extremist and apologist, including his history of inciting voilence against non-muslims at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), audio and video recordings showing his extremist views and comments supporting terrorism
- Soon calls for Isa Pantami to resign gathered steam on social media. Meanwhile hordes of Isa Pantami’s supporters came with the notion that this was a political witch hunt and canvassed that Isa Pantami was going nowhere and would remain as Minister
- A particular journalist, David Hundeyin, published an investigative article detailing Isa Pantami’s actions and comments Advertisement
- Soon calls for the Federal government to act on the matter became louder. When asked if the Federal Government was going to do anything about the serious allegations against one of its Ministers, the Minister for Information Lai Mohammed informed journalists that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) did not discuss the matter in their last meeting
- A motion raised by a member of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon Ndudi Elumelu to discuss the allegations against Pantami on the floor of the House was struck down by the House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, on technicality grounds
- Many Nigerians expressed dismay that the FG would remain silent on such weighty issue considering the various security and terrorism challenges the country was facing.
- On 22nd April online news sites published information that the Federal Government has released a statement backing the embattled Minister. So far the issues has not been addressed and it remains to be seen whether the agitation for Pantami’s resignation loses steam and ends at this point.
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