The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as insensitive, the presidency’s statement exonerating Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, of allegation of supporting terrorism. PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of providing cover for the minister.
The party said that this further confirmed the public and international apprehensions that the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) is allegedly patronising acts of terrorism in the country. He said: “Nigerians were traumatised that the presidency could mount a hopeless defence and justification for the actions of the minister, who had already confessed to supporting terrorist groups like al-Qaida and Taliban.
“It is instructive to note that this anti-people stance has heightened public anxiety that the Buhari presidency is a haven for traitors, who are providing support to acts of terrorist activities in our nation. “Our party holds that this has further exposed why the Buhari presidency has failed to decisively confront terrorism as well as why terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and insurgents are emboldened to ravage our nation and massacre our compatriots.
“It is inexcusable that the Buhari presidency is showing grave insensitivity to the fact that thousands of Nigerians have been massacred, maimed and horrified; that hundreds of communities have been devastated and that our nation has been under siege because of the actions and public comments by individuals like Isa Pantami.
“Our party notes that if indeed, the Buhari presidency has not found itself entangled, the least it ought to have done in the face of allegations against Pantami was to reassure Nigerians by first relieving Isa Pantami of his office and handing him over to the appropriate agency for deradicalisation.” The party noted that the minister had initially denied his support to terrorist groups but only admitted after he was overwhelmed by evidence, “thus rubbishing the lame claims by the Buhari presidency that the minister had turned a new leaf 20 years ago.” According to PDP, Pantami belongs to the deradicalisation centre and not in the Federal Executive Council where he has been accused of compromising national security.
“This is in addition to allegations in the public space that the exposed minister had been compromising our national data as well as the NIN registration exercise, wherein aliens and invaders from other countries were alleged to have been registered as our citizens. “These are issues that our party insists must be investigated by the Department of State Services (DSS). “As a party, the PDP charges President Muhammadu Buhari to reassure the citizens by immediately withdrawing the statement from his presidency, relieve Isa Pantami of his position as minister and take a bold step to flush out terrorist apologists from the presidency,” the statement added.