Dr. Samuel Uche the Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, has said President Muhamadu Buhari is running a Fulani kind of government.
The prelate expressed this while responding to the tepid methodology of the Nigerian Federal Government to the report of supposed ties between the Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Pantami, and psychological oppressor associations.
Pantami has as of under public pressure to step down from office after audio and video recordings surfaced about his controversial comments alongside excerpts of an academic paper that explored his preachings across northern parts of the country between the early and mid-2000s.
The pastor offered disputable comments that included how he was consistently cheerful at whatever point unbelievers were murdered, his commendations for terrorist groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda and his judgment of the Nigerian military for slaughtering individuals from the feared Boko Haram order.
Many concerned Nigerians and religion associations have requested his immediate resignation from the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
After initial refusals, the clergyman criticized his past incendiary assertions including that Osama Bin Laden was a preferable Muslim over himself and that he wished Al Qaeda and the Taliban success in their terrorism, were made when he was youthful as he presently knows better.
In videos from the 2000s, Pantami, who is a known Islamic scholar, said “This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria. Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.”
Some Nigerians have also blamed the Senate for not doing a thorough screening on Pantami before his appointment was confirmed by the red chamber.
The revelations jolted Pantami’s political and media allies, many of whom said they had long considered him to be a moderate and astute preacher of Islamic faith across Northern Nigeria. Some academics had also written about Mr Pantami as a diligent and kind cleric whose teachings had set the tone for peace across the troubled region.
Peoples Gazette said in one report that the minister said “I have always preached peace and tolerance. In some cases, I was attacked by my fellow Muslims for supporting my Christian brothers and sisters.”
Pantami said Italian authors of the academic paper that chronicled his Salafi teachings as a bulwark of radical views amongst university students in the North had misrepresented him by failing to reach out to him before concluding the papers.
“They did their research but failed to contact me and sit down with me for an interview before publishing their papers,” Pantami said.
“It is possible they used a translator that did not understand Hausa or just did not like me.”
Reacting to this while speaking at a media briefing on the state of the nation organised by the church’s 38th Council of Bishops on Tuesday at Wesley House, Marina, Lagos, the Methodist Prelate queried Pantami’s continued stay in office in spite of his alleged romance and dalliance with some notable terrorist organisations.
Uche attributed the uneven handling of Pantami’s alleged terrorist links by the Muhammadu Buhari regime to a hidden ethnic supremacy agenda.
He said, “We don’t have a Federal Government; what we have is Fulani Government. For now, the President has not proved to us that this is not a Fulani government as far as I am concerned.
“Go and look at our security agencies, oil industry, Nigerian Port Authority; all Fulani. Why? Are they the only people in Nigeria? There is a hidden agenda.”
Uche called on the Federal Government as a matter of urgency, to relieve him of his appointment, investigate his involvement with these organizations and possibly prosecute him.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Senate said it cannot call for Minister of Communication, Isa Pantami’s sack or resgination as no individual, group or organisation has approached it with solid evidence about the official’s alleged link with terrorist organisations.
Dr. Ajibola Basiru, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said the upper chamber should not be blamed for clearing Pantami for appointment.
He told Sunday PUNCH in Abuja that apart from the fact that it did not receive any petition against the embattled minister, there was no security report that indicted him as of the time of his screening.
Basiru added that no petition had been sent to the Senate, detailing specific allegations against Pantami, since the matter came to the limelight penultimate week.
He nevertheless said the current controversy around the minister does not constitute any grounds for his sacking which only Buhari had the exclusive power to do.
Basiru said, “To start with, there is nothing that disqualified him from contesting an election based on the constitution of Nigeria.
“The Senate can only act based on the information at its disposal as of the time of the screening. We have not acted in any way against the law. No security agency approached us to give us any information that could indict him, both at the time of his appointment and even now. The Senate does not have the power to remove a minister. We can only screen, based on the information available to us and based on the report that we have from the security agencies.
“There is no way we could act based on social media reports. It is only the President who could decide to appoint and remove ministers. As far as we are concerned, we only hear people talk about the issue we don’t have any fact about the so-called allegation. We don’t have any fact, we did our job based on facts available to us.’’
He further said, “Those who are talking have not pointed to a particular law upon which he ought to be removed as a minister.
“Even if the information about him now, assuming it was available then (during screening), does it constitute a disqualifying factor of being a Minister under the Nigerian law?”
He also dismissed the call on Buhari to sack Pantami based on moral grounds saying that controversy was a normal thing in politics.
He said, “All over the World, controversy is part of political existence. There is a difference between legality and political consideration which is not in the purview of the National Assembly.
“He was screened publicly and there was no objection. The exercise was aired live on the national television stations. The Constitution stipulates requirements to be a Minister and he hasn’t run foul of any as far as we are concerned.”
Amid all these, Patanmi recently emerged Nigeria’s most outstanding minister of the year.
This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy via its official Facebook page.
“The Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has been conferred with the award as most outstanding minister of the year by People and Power Magazine,” the ministry stated.
“The accolade according to the magazine is in recognition of the laudable policies developed by the ministry under the supervision of the honourable minister such as the revolutionary NIN-SIM data linkage, the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a digital Nigeria, among others.”
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