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Leave Pantami out of terrorist affiliation, says Sumaila

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[files] Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami. Photo: TWITTER/ FMoCDENigeria

Former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Assembly matters, Abdurrahman Sumaila, has urged those calling for the removal of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami over alleged sympathy to terrorists to stop such calls.

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Sumaila, stated that those behind the purported comments on terrorist groups attributed to Pantami were detractors and enemy of giant stride the minister had so far recorded in the country.

The former house of representatives member, representing Sumaila Federal constituency wondered why Pantami would be held to ransom of the past he had already denounced.

Sumaila insisted that those calling for the sack of the minister of communications are simply dissipating needless energy on frivolity instead of addressing the critical challenge of security issues in the country. He therefore wondered how the sack or resignation of Pantami would check the incessant threat of security in Nigeria.

Former presidential aide wondered why the intelligence agencies have not apprehended Pantami in the last five years if at all he has any affiliation with the terrorist group.

According to him, “I wonder why some people wanted to tarnish the image of a man who devoted his time, vast knowledge both Islamic and western for the overall development of Nigeria.

“Sheikh Pantami is among the few Islamic scholars that summoned the courage to engage the leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, late Muhammad Yusuf in a public debate. The video clip of this debate which went viral is still in circulation on YouTube and other social media platforms.

“Why would people easily forgot the giant stride done by the Sheikh? If at all the minister has any affiliation to the terrorist groups, can he make such a confrontation he had with the leader of the Boko Haram? The answer is certainly no.

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“So, this should clearly revealed to Nigerians that those who concocted the comments and attributed them to Sheikh Pantami do not mean well to him and the country.

“After all, the minister publicly denounced the comments and from the method of preaching one can clearly understand that the minister has nothing to do with any terrorist group here in Nigeria or outside the country.

“I want to use this opportunity to condemn in a strong term those who are calling for the minister to step down from his position. If the minister has hand in the activities of a terrorist group, the Nigerian security agencies should have known that for a very long time, saying the Islamic scholars had been preaching for decades before his appointment as minister.

“Again, if the minister has any link to any terrorist group, he wouldn’t have been allowed to study in both United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia respectively. We all know how serious these two countries are taking issues of terrorism and other related security matters. So, for someone to accuse Sheikh Pantami of involvement in terrorism, I am sure that person must be joking.

Describing the minister as well known and vast Islamic scholar who has been preaching for decades in all parts of the country, Sumaila said that Pantami has never been found wanting in any terrorist activity within and outside Nigeria.

He claimed that if the promoter of the campaign against the minister knows the type of person he is, they won’t have continued to waste their time and resources trying to tarnish his good image.

The former special assistant to president Buhari, there called on the president, federal government and Nigerians irrespective of their religious inclination to disregard the accusation.

He condemned all the allegations against him in strong terms, saying it is high time that Nigerians should purge themselves of hatred and rather promote unity regardless of religious affiliation.

Ali


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