PANTAMI'S ROMANCE WITH TERRORISTS: DSS/Senate Screening, Futile Exercise or Mere Tradition? — By Ogo-Oluwa Adelakun - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
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Since last week’s removal of the embargo placed on the sale or registration of new sim cards, the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami has been a name that has maintained its place on the charts of trending social media topics.

At first glance, one would have imagined that the honourable minister’s name was on the lips of many, as per a natural reaction of relief due to the restrictions which came about as a result of the audit checks carried out on telecoms, but this time the case was very much unusual.

Apparently, many Nigerians, for days now have been calling for minister Pantami’s resignation after endless allegations and mindboggling recordings surfaced on social media of him showing support for terrorists organizations and their acts against persons not practicing the Islamic faith. Some proponents of this call feel that if the very unpalatable accusations leveled against Mr. Pantami are veritable, then President Muhammadu Buhari should fire and probe him seriously for the alleged comments the minister has now reportedly recanted by saying he employs more christians to work for him. Judging by the reaction of some on social media, even the recantation looks to have fueled more public anger because it is believed that employing people of other creeds means nothing at all since religion has no bearing on ones capacity to do certain jobs.

However, the minister of communications and digital economy also has received pockets of support from those who believe that Nigeria must never thread the lane of “cancel culture”. These persons argue that the minister has done a very great job so far in serving the country and that the recent allegations are only smear campaigns from persons who are politically aggrieved. In summary they strongly believe the minster has “haters” who have a bone to pick with him.

Can we say those who want the minister to be accountable for these allegations which naturally antagonize the oath he swore upon assuming office have a point to make whether politically motivated or not ? Or is it true that this is another episode of cancel-culture taking center stage for dissenting opinions that may have been made in error?

Only time time will tell, right ? Or has time already told?

Nigerians have quickly made recollections on how upon discovery that the former minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun had an issue with her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate, calls for her resignation were made which she obeyed.

At that time just like now, the popular public “2 cents” by her supporters were claims that she had made enemies in the political realm due to certain actions she had made as minister. If these “hot takes” did not save Mrs. Adeosun, then these individuals feel we would be making a sacred cow out of Mr. Pantami if he does not follow in her footsteps.

It is also worthy to ask what the use of screening exercises are by the Department of State Services (DSS)and the Nigerian Senate, if they cannot spot things as sensitive but as little as mere comments from yesteryears allegedly made by an individual who now serves as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

What is the ceremony about if indeed these kind of issues cannot be addressed at the vetting stage? Or are those who feel such things are kept as ammunition for blackmail making a point we need to pay attention to?

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