… says local, foreign detractors behind Minister’s ordeal
The Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance has said the ongoing call and social media campaign for the resignation of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, is a well-funded program aimed at heightening insecurity in the country by some highly placed individuals who have continued to profit from the security challenges being experienced in some parts of the country.
Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday, the coordinator of the Coalition, Comrade Declan Ihekaire, which is an amalgamation of various Civil Society organizations, said it is alarmed by the sustained campaign against Dr Pantami, whom he described as principled, innovative and a key member of the team of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Ihekaire, the development is a simple case of corruption fighting back, adding that the President should ignore the calls.
“We are forced to publicly condemn the ongoing well coordinated campaign of calumny against Dr Pantami by those whom we have discovered are opposed, not only to the digital revolution of our economy, but also the efforts of the ministry, under his leadership, particularly the compulsory National Identification Number NIN, which these unpatriotic Nigerians, have exploited over the years to fester insecurity in the country when the use of mobile telecommunication devices became a veritable tool for kidnappers, terrorists and other criminals, who operates under the cover of being anonymous to perpetrate evil unhindered.” leader of the group, Comrade Ihekiare stated.
“We dare say that Dr Isa Pantami’s sincere admission of once holding views, which were supposedly in support of some radical groups during his growing up years, is an unusual display of sincerity, patriotism and we see this as a welcome step.
“Dr Pantami’s great work and output at the Ministry of Digital Economy where he took a Ministry that was sleeping and upgraded it to a 21st century Ministry, have become mitigating factors against the expectations of those who are patrons of terror groups and their accomplices in the telecom business, who have over the years profited from the insecurities being faced by our people.”
The group further asked President Muhammadu Buhari to disregard the campaign against Dr Pantami and not allow the government to be misled by those it described as selfish, who want Mr President to “unwittingly” fall into the trap of some individuals who are the sympathisers of terrorists groups in the country.
It also said it is also becoming a certainty given the intensity of the campaign of calumny against the Communication Minister that the sponsors of the campaign against Pantami are desperate to decimate persons they perceive as loyal and committed to the visions of President Muhammadu Buhari so that they can fill the resulting vacuum with their own henchmen.
“Finally, we call on Nigerians, particularly the young people with a large presence on the social media, not to be carried away by the antics of these unpatriotic Nigerians, whose greed and penchant for ill gotten wealth knows no bounds and are ready to destroy the collective good of our people for their selfish gains.”