An All Progressives Congress, APC, group, known as the APC Advocates Forum, has asked Nigerians to liken the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, to Apostle Paul of the Holy Bible,
Speaking at a News Conference, on Monday, in Abuja, the Convener of the APC Advocates Forum, Comrade Kabiru Duhu, weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Minister.
Duhu in his submission about Dr. Pantami’s past declarations supporting terrorists, urged Nigerians to be fair on the Minister, and consider his case like that of Apostle Paul, who got converted on his way to Damascus.
The APC group Leader insisted that the Minister should be judged based on his track record of service, and not his past.
His words: “Dr. Pantami is one Nigerian who has had to speak in positive terms in the past, out of his conviction as an impressionable at a time many other Clerics in Nigeria believed that Saudi Arabia was doing the right thing.
“Along the line, he (Pantami) had an experience similar to what the Holy Bible told us that Apostle Paul had on the road to Damascus, after he was exposed to fresh evidence.”
The APC group said that Dr. Pantami thereafter, openly recanted his previous comments, and took it upon himself to preach against Islamic extremist ideologies across major cities of Northern Nigeria, and which has over the years made him a target for boko haram.
“So, whereas many Nigerians from the South first heard about Dr. Pantami when President Muhammadu Buhari named him the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and subsequently as a Cabinet Member, he had for at least 10 years been a known figure in the North for his itinerant anti-Boko Haram preaching.
“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.”
The group also hailed the Minister for his achievements in the Ministry within two years, recalling how he launched the decade-long Economic Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria in 2019, as well as the development of a SIM Card Registration Policy in February 2020.
It noted that “under Pantami, there is now a revised NIN-SIM Registration Policy, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025), launching of the Emergency Communication Centres and 112 Emergency Communication Number, significant drop in Right of Way charges after meeting with state governors”, and a host of other achievements.
More news later…