By Adewuyi Simeon
Nigerians has started reacting to the Presidency’s support for the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Pantami despite various calls by Nigerians for his resignation/sack over his past controversial comments in support of terrorist groups.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the president, Garba Shehu, had earlier in a statement titled ‘Statement by the Presidency on recent campaign against the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy’, stressed that Pantami was young when he made those statements and his position had since changed.
Presidency in the statement stated that made enemies because he tried to put Nigeria first and had initiated plans and policies that would profit the public.
The development has since generated lots of reactions aa many Nigerians and groups asked president Buhari to sack him after the old videos from 2000s showing where the Minister was seen supporting Al-Qaeda and the Taliban terrorist groups as well as expressing Islamic extreme views resurfaced.
However, many Nigerians still insisted that Pantami should be sacked or resign despite the presidential explanation.
Some of the social affairs commentator who spoke with our correspondent in Kwara state expressed disappointment on the presidency’s speech on the issue stressing that the minister’s statement is a personal attempt to islamize the nation if possible.
In his own view, another public affairs analyst Wale Idowu said “its not funny that the presidency supports the Minister, we all knows that the presidency can not do than supporting him.”
Another speaker, Lawyer Abdul Mahmud said “Am I disappointed at the statement of the presidency on Pantami? No. 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,”
However, Fisayo Soyombo in his words argued 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.”
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.”