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Retention of Pantami in Buhari’s cabinet absurd, ludicrous, says PFN


•APC group backs presidency’s stance on minister

Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), yesterday, decried retention of Communication and Digital Economy Minister, Isah Pantami, in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari, describing the development as absurd and ludicrous.

The Christian group said the defence of Pantami by the Buhari-led administration is an indication that the government is not serious about its fight against Boko Haram insurgency and other related security challenges facing the country.

President of PFN, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, said the controversy being generated by the Pantami saga was needless as he (Pantami) ought to have resigned or be sacked on account of his past complimentary stance on Boko Haram and other terrorist organisations.

Oke made the comments in a statement issued by PFN Media Department and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Bishop Emmah Gospel Isong.


“That Pantami is still in Buhari’s government tells much about who we are and the mockery that trails us. What is the man still doing in government, why has he not resigned or why has he not been sacked by the government? More questions than answers, or are we running a government of abradacabra, the more you look, the less you see?” the cleric stated.

Oke, who is also the Presiding Bishop of Sword of the Spirit Ministries Ibadan, lamented that Buhari government’s fight against insurgency, banditry and the like, is, after all, a facade.

“To us at the PFN, the Buhari’s government is not sincere in its alleged war against Boko Haram, killer herdsmen and other criminalities.
Do we have to look beyond our shoulders for sponsors of the mindless killings and bloodshed currently ravaging our country? The answer is no! The government knows them.

“Regardless of our religions, where we come from and who we are, Nigeria belongs to us all as enshrined in our constitution. That’s sacrosanct and must strictly be adhered to and respected by all,” Oke said.

According to the cleric, criminal activities have been festering under this administration because it has been treating those behind it with kid gloves.


But some members of Buhari’s party, All Progressives Congress (APC), have thrown their weight behind the decision by the presidency to clear Pantami of any wrong doing over his favourable disposition to activities of Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorist groups over the years.

Spokesman of the group of APC members, Kabiru Duhu, at a press conference in Abuja, urged Nigerians not to be swayed by the “pull him down antics of Pantami’s traducers who do not mean well for the country.”

The group maintained that Pantami has done well and should be judged by his work in office, not by rhetoric that he had long recanted “and for which he is Boko Haram’s number one enemy today.”

Citing the growth rate of 15.90 per cent recorded by the telecommunications sector with Pantami at the helm of affairs, the group argued that the minister deserved praise for his itinerant anti-Boko Haram preaching in the last 10 years.

“He was in fact one of the few Islamic preachers that dared preached publicly against the deadly sect, before it was designated as a terrorist group, and which was why Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group, in February 2020 issued a fatwa on him and reminded Nigerians how his group shot and killed other preachers.”


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