The National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity) has declared that the continued stay in office of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami after the exposure of his previously held extremist views in support of global terrorism confirms that President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration’s war on terror is a ruse.
The NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje, in a statement titled ‘Pantami’s volte-face contrition is not sufficient to remedy’, said the minister’s recant after the initial denial was “unfortunate, embarrassing and disheartening”.
According to him, videos and tapes which revealed Pantami’s support for the aims of Al-Qaeda while condemning the intervention of the Nigerian Army in the North-East have exposed him as a sympathiser of Boko Haram.
“His recant notwithstanding, those remarks mark him out as a religious zealot, a terrorist sympathiser and a middling proselytiser whose intellectual horizons are severely constricted by religious fervour and primordial ethnic sentiments.
“These, and other infelicities make his position at the head of a sensitive ministry both regrettable and untenable. His resignation should only be the first step towards a process of accounting and explanation that the Nigerian citizenry deserves. A multi-ethnic and multi-faith country should not have religious zealots that flirt with political and religious extremism in public office.
“It is also a matter of great concern that these antecedents were either missed or glossed over during the screening process by security agencies that precedes ministerial appointment. The relevant bodies in charge of those processes should explain these lapses and what measures they would put in place to restore public trust in these protective measures.
“For the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration that came into office in 2015 on the back of a promise to wage a sincere war against terrorism, a promise it has failed to fulfil in six years amidst suspicion of internal saboteurs and collaborators frustrating the war on terror, the continued stay in office of Dr Pantami would confirm that its war on terror was no more than a political ruse all along.”
Pantami has attracted public criticism after some of his past comments which tend to support terrorism were made public. Many Nigerians have since been calling for his resignation or sacking.