Pantami: More stakeholders call for resignation, sack of Buhari minister


More reactions have continued to trail inciting comments and utterances of the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.

Stakeholders in the country have been calling on relevant authorities to investigate Pantami and be prosecuted if found culpable.

Others have called for his resignation from his current position to face investigation, while others say President Muhammadu Buhari should sack him, to face the full wrath of the law if found guilty, saying it’s a shame harbouring such a person in government.

Our reporter spoke with a wide range of stakeholders, who unanimously called for Pantami’s resignation/sack, prosecution if found culpable.

A former Member of the House of Representatives from Plateau State, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, in his reaction said, “It was an admittance of guilt when Pantami tried to excuse his terrorists psyche citing age and time. Would be bomber Mutallab is currently serving various sentences in the US prison for terrorists tendencies despite his youthfulness.”

According to Kaze who represented Jos South/Jos East in the Green chamber, between 2007 to 2015, “This was an opportunity for the President Buhari-led administration to purge itself of accusations that it’s sympathetic to religious fundamentalists like Pantami and Boko Haram, but the government openly approved of the terror instigating utterances of Pantami. A friend of terrorists is invariably a terrorist.

“Pantami must have been emboldened by more ‘pantamistic’ utterances over the years by President Buhari himself which he got away with despite national outcry and blistering indictment by the Late Shiek Lemu panel.”

The former lawmaker maintained that, “Pantami is said to have passed through Harvard, but it’s clear that he did not allow Harvard to pass through him.”

He, however, said, “In saner climes, Pantami would have on his own resign and submit himself to the appropriate security agencies for unhindered investigation and possible prosecution”.

Also a former Member of the House of Representatives in the 8th Assembly, Hon. Timothy Golu, said, “The man should resign because he has a sickeningly complex, deeply controversial and deliberately conflicting character and personality.”

Golu who represented Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam constituency of Plateau State in the House of Representatives, added that, “In a highly divisive society promoted by his likes, the only honourable thing to do is to leave the stage to douse tension and restore confidence in those who see him as a threat.”

According to him, “His former views are still with him because he has not shown any change. Why would he be in government when he chastised and criticised clerics who accepts appointments?

“He has not given reasons for his change of attitude.
He is not to be trusted. He is not one to bring religious harmony or peaceful coexistence”, he maintained.”

He, however, said, “If Kemi the former Finance Minister was asked to resign over an NYSC irregularity, why not such a scandalous taint on Pantami’s integrity and character?”

“Those supporting him are not helping our unity and peace at all. Once a section is not comfortable with someone, he should leave because of the respect for the others”, he maintained.

On Federal Government’s reaction, the former lawmaker said, “Federal Government’s reaction is not in the interest of peace and unity. Federal Government has taken sides which is not good”.

An Executive Director with the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Comrade Steve Aluko, said, “The CLO is against the call for his resignation, but rather call for his outright sack, investigation and diligent prosecution in line with the anti-terrorism act.

“Given the fact that he currently occupies and hold very sensitive post that compromises the security of the country, nationhood, patriotism and give Nigeria and Nigerians bad image within the Commonwealth of civilised nations.

“Nigerians and the government of APC and President Buhari must not be allowed or seen as rewarding and re-enforcing evil and wickedness against citizens that have allegedly lost their lives and properties in the course of his actions or in actions.”

According to him, “The President and the National Assembly must investigate and punish any act of compromise and complicity on the part of persons and the security agencies in the course of vetting and clearance of Pantami to be a minister.

“The Presidency, the National and State Assemblies must not sweep these allegations and other allegations against other public officers under the carpet, else they will be seen as aiding and abetting the crimes against humanity and promoters of acts to terrorism across the globe.”

Also speaking, Comrade Japhet Philip La’abes, a civil society activist, said “Only a simpleton will wish away these damning allegations backed with strong evidences against Pantami.

“The least the minister can do is resign his appointment and allow the law to take its full course.”

On the Federal Government’s reaction, Laabes said, “The response of the government leaves much to be desired.

“We run a government that has been hijacked by ethno-religious chauvinists whose pastime is the promotion of sectarian ideology and feudalism. This government is irredeemable and unfortunate”, he maintained.

Reacting to the calls for the resignation of Pantami, Comrade Gad Peter, said, “I will support the call for him to resign not because he is guilty of the allegations against him, but because he is a distraction at the moment to the government and a baggage.

The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), at the end of its 68th General Church Council meeting held at its headquarters in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, called for investigation into allegations against Pantami.

A communiqué signed by its President, Rev. Stephen Baba Panya, and Rev. Yunusa Sabo Nmadu Jr. General Secretary, reads:

“The Council observes the serious nature of the allegations levelled against the Nigeria’s current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, the verity of which allegations he has affirmed, but is quick to excuse himself, pleading immaturity and limited knowledge for his support for terrorism at the time.

“We join other well-meaning Nigerians and corporate citizens like Human Rights Writers’ Association (HURIWA), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to demand for his resignation as a member of the Federal Executive Council.

“Where he fails to resign voluntarily, we would expect President Buhari to relieve him of his ministerial position.

“We equally add our voice to the demand that the allegations against Dr. Pantami be thoroughly investigated by relevant security agencies and if indicted, he should be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant laws of the Federation.

“This will rekindle the faith of the citizenry in the Nigerian project and assure them that there are no sacred cows in Buhari’s cabinet.”

“Failure to do that will make the Buhari government complicit in the divisive propaganda of dangerous elements of the society as well as the murderous activities of rampaging terrorists.

“Furthermore, inaction on this might inadvertently imply that President Buhari prefers the enemies of the nation over its citizens and cares little about the sanctity of the constitution he swore to abide by”, the Council stressed.

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