Deji Adebayo, Abuja
The statement of the Mohammadu Buhari led Presidency in support of the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami after several calls by Nigerians for his resignation/sack over his past controversial statements in support of some terrorist groups has sparked outrage.
Recall last night that Daily Metro News NG reports Garba Shehu, (President’s SSA on Media and Publicity), in a statement he titled ‘Statement by the Presidency on recent campaign against the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy’, explaining to Nigerians and the world in general that Pantami was young when he made those statements and his position had since changed.
The Presidency had yesterday shouldered the embattled Minister saying he made enemies because he tried to put Nigeria first and had initiated plans and policies that would profit the public.
Recall many Nigerians and groups have been calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Pantami after videos of the Minister was seen supporting Al-Qaeda and the Taliban terrorist groups, as well as expressing Islamic extreme views in the early 2000s resurfaced in the media.
While declaring its support for Pantami, the Presidency described his current travail as an orchestrated attempt to ‘cancel’ him.
But many Nigerians insisted on Pantami’s sack or resignation despite the presidential explanation.
Below are some of the comments and reactions to the President’s support for Pantami:
Right Activist, Comrade Deji Adeyanju reacts to Shehu tweet; “Buhari to Garba Shehu –
Go & tell Nigerians I STAND WITH Al-Qaeda.
Baba is standing firmly with Al-Qaeda.”
Social Commentator Wale Adetona said; “We are aware of all the reports and claims about Pantami, but there’s nothing we would do about it! If Shekau comes pleading tomorrow too, we’d give him a ticket to run for Presidency. That’s the summary of Garba Sheu’s tweet.”
A Lawyer, Abdul Mahmud said; “Am I disappointed at the statement of the presidency on Pantami? NO. It was expected. Leadership of our country has been hijacked by a narrow and sectarian cabal with feudal agenda. Did the presidency expect the reactions witnessed here? No. Una shock am.”
Another social activist, Malachy Odo noted; “Going by the position of the Nigerian government on Pantami, I am sure that over 90% of Prison inmates in this country regret whatever it is they did that took them there and have also renounced them. Why are they still being detained? Why is Rev. King still in prison?”
Fisayo Soyombo opined that; “The Presidency was gifted a landmark opportunity to proclaim its aversion to terror. Instead, it released a statement ‘standing by’ Pantami.
“This is tacit endorsement of terrorism. The govt is emboldening people to go ahead & spew hate, & return years later to a pat on the back.”
A freelance Journalist David Hundeyin said; “Your government has released an official statement saying that Isa Pantami has “apologised” for being a terror apologist and therefore it “stands behind” him. I have no words.”
Editi Effiòng tweeted: “The reason I stood and watched this entire Pantami scandal is because I know the Buhari government is beyond redemption.
“If government that has no qualms killing unarmed protesters, what’s the big deal about a minister who supports terrorism
Another Twitter account, Concerned Nigerian wrote; “Are you telling Nigerians that the president is in support of Pantami and his extremist views? Are you telling them that Pantami’s support for murderous Taliban and Al-qaeda terrorists is okay by the president?”
On a like manner, Oluwatayo comments on Garba Shehu’s tweet; “Yesterday Kemi Adeosun was told to resign because of Certificate Forgery, why can’t you allow her to apply for another one and get it, instead of advising her to Resign then?
“He Who Comes to Equity must Come With Clean Hands.”