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HomeMetro NewsWhy President Buhari should sack his communication minister Pantami now

Why President Buhari should sack his communication minister Pantami now

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By Oludare Mayowa

Social media, especially Twitter has been brimming with vicious attacks on the minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami for his extremist outburst in support of jihadists and religious extremism.

The call for President Buhari to relieve his minister of communication and digital economy off his job has become imperative because of the sensitive nature of religion in a pluralistic country like ours.

The minister’s past, which is filled with religious bigotry, his identification with radical Islamic group, which belied his present position was the reason for the attack and call for his sack.

From his past outburst, he had identified with the Islamic jihadists, who believe in the killing of others because of what they believe and leaving sorrow, tears and pain in their trail.

Though Pantami, in his own words, claimed that those radical statements were made when he was younger, the fact is that his past has come to haunt him and he should be ready to voluntarily resign his position as a minister of the federal republic.

He may have claimed that he has renounced his past, but his action and inaction since he assumed his present position has shown that he has not really purged himself of those radical views that ran contrary to the oath of his office.

For instance, Pantami’s encountered with the head of the Diaspora commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa sometimes ago and the manner he handled the altercation seems to justify the call for his sack.

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He has consistently acted more like a mullah who is all out to defend his extreme region view than a minister of the federal republic who is expected to act just and fair to all, both Christian and Muslim and also other religion.

He is deeply involved in Islamic activities and his extreme and fundamental position has put him in the league of those are intolerant of other religious views.

Such people, in my view, should not be entrusted with such enormous power, especially handling such a sensitive sector of the economy, with access to details of citizens’ data, which could be manipulated to suit his bigotry position.

There are many people from his part of the country who can do better than him in that same office without carrying any religious baggage that could tarnish the image of the government he is serving.

Pantami, no doubt is a brilliant mind, yet his religious belief and his consistent strong view is a cause for concerns among Nigerians and he should be discarded by the president if he can’t be humble enough to voluntarily resign honourably as a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari cannot afford to continue to keep him in his cabinet, otherwise, he will be justifying the claims by some people that this government is in sync with those jihadists that have been waging war against the country.

Some have even insinuated that part of the reason Nigeria has not been able to win the war against the jihadists is that there are some people within the government that are secretly aiding the insurgency, using their sensitive positions in government to thwart all efforts by both the military and international agencies to end the war of attrition being waged by the insurgents.

The fact that Nigeria has not been able to defeat the insurgents despite the fact that we have the capacity to deploy technology to fight the war is an indication that there may be some powerful individuals in government who are sabotaging winning the entire war.

Pantami’s explanation that he has since renounced his support for terrorism is seen as a mere attempt to retain his position in government by all means and stave off opposition against his past and probable misdeed.

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This present administration should let him go because he represents more of baggage than value to the government of President Buhari. His sack, therefore, will save the government from the backlash which may further dent the image of the government.

Like someone once said, extremists are unlikely to renounce their position easily because of the deeper emotion attached to religious extremism; they usually deploy their position in a covert manner to support their position on religious issues.

The issue of Pantami should not be treated with levity by the government and he should be properly investigated by the security agencies, and if found wanting should be brought to book.

His continuous staying in office may further give the opponents of the present administration the needed weapon to discredit it the more. This may also send a signal to many Nigerians that the government is tolerant of those who hold extreme religious viewsand treat Islamic fundamentalists with kid’s glove.

Therefore, the president should sack the minister immediately for his indiscretion to serve as a deterrent to others of his like.

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