Outrage, disdain, greet Presidency’s stand on Pantami




Dr Isa Pantami

By Victor Oso

Anger and disdain has greeted Presidency’s yesterday defence of embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
Pantami has been in the news lately over sermons he delivered over a decade ago that supported extremist groups such as Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Although he has renounced these teachings, blaming his immaturity at that time, Nigerians on social media have demanded his resignation from office.

The Presidency, in a statement on Thursday, by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu said the administration “stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.”
Shehu also said the administration would commence an investigation into allegations that some businesses were behind the attacks on the minister.
“The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected,” he said.

Government’s stand has however, stoked social media storm with many people on Twitter, especially, lambasting the administration for taking sides with the minister.
Writing under ‘Fisayo Soyombo
@fisayosoyombo said “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.
Another tweet by
Aloba O. Gideon
@deluxe_k stated that “Grave actions committed in the past don’t have consequences ~ summary of Presidency’s stance on Pantami issue.”
He added, “A precedent is set by APC’s presidency by the released statement backing Pantami. Sometimes, silence is golden. They should have kept quiet.”

Showing his disdain, another Twitter user writing under the ID
Great Oracle
@AbdulMahmud01 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 tweet by
Olu’Seun Esan
@OluseunEsan17 said
“No one should be disappointed by the
@GarShehu
statement from the Presidency being the position of the government on Pantami.
Is it not this same government that is rehabilitating ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists?
The government is rehabilitating Pantami.
C’est fini!”

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