Security experts have spoken out on the apology Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, tendered over the controversial statement he made in the past in support of terrorist groups - Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The experts said that the statements that Pantami made were too heavy and should not be swept under the carpet, and urged the Minister to resign voluntarily or he be sacked by President Muhammad Buhari.
Pantami has been under fire for some days now, after comments he made supporting terrorist groups surfaced on the media.
In his comments, he had allegedly spoken in support of Al Qaeda, a deadly terrorist group that was founded by the late Osama Bin Laden.
Pantami also made comments supporting the Taliban, a Sunni Islamist movement and military organization in Afghanistan.
In one of his preachings in the 2000s that surfaced on the media, Pantami had said that Jihad is an obligation for every believer, especially in Nigeria. And he prayed that God should give the Taliban and Al Qaeda victory.
There was an outrage on social media, and Nigerians immediately began to demand for his sack.
Following the heat, Isa Pantami issued an apology over those comments, and said that he was not mature when he made those statements, and alleged that the attacks on him are politically motivated.
Following his apology, some security experts reacted and spoke about the implications of those comments.
A retired US Army Captain, Bishop Johnson, in his reaction to the issue, urged Pantami to resign or be sacked by the President if he fails to do so. He said that if there is an outcry from the public like this, such a person should resign in order not to drag the reputation of the administration.
He also faulted the screening of ministerial nominees in Nigeria, saying that the nominees simply go to the Senate and take a bow without their pasts being looked at.
Another security expert who reacted to Pantami's plea is the National President of Criminology and Security Practitioners Association of Nigeria, Williams Ekposon. Ekposon said that professionally, someone like Pantami should not be in charge of the data of Nigerians.
He added that in the light of the position Pantami is holding, Nigerians are not secure, that the data of Nigerians are not secure with someone who spoke in support of terrorists. He said that if someone who holds a sensitive public office had made comments connected to terrorists, then there is something fishy about it. He also added that Pantami should apologize to Nigerians and resign, and let it be regarded that the appointment was made in error.
Dickson Osajie, a security expert based in Lagos, said that the problem we have in Nigeria is that we don't screen people properly before employing them into strategic positions, and that if proper screening had been conducted, it would have been revealed that Pantami had a soft spot for terrorists and would have been disqualified. He added that the position Pantami is holding is one of the most sensitive positions in the country.
He said that he is not disputing the fact that Pantami has repented just as he claimed, but the truth is that he needs to resign to set an example for other extremists that they do not have to put Nigeria at risk.
Isa Pantami renounced the comments, saying that he started preaching from the age of 13 and said that some of those comments were made when he was still a teenager, and that his views on those issues have now changed.
He said that many scholars and individuals did not understand some political events of that time, and so built their opinions based on their own understanding, but with time, they came to change their views on those issues.
He said that for years he has been moving about different parts of the country educating members of the public on the dangers of terrorism, and has managed to bring many young people who derailed from the truth back to the right path.
But despite the plea, security experts are asking him to resign because of the sensitive position he is holding in government, and also as proof that his appointment was made in error. They said that with someone like him in the position he is occupying, the data of Nigerians are not safe with him.
What are your thoughts on this - do you think Isa Pantami should resign because of those comments he made in the past? As you share your thoughts with us, please share the article also so that others can also benefit from your contributions.
Credit: Sahara Reporters
Content created and supplied by: Richiehenshaw (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More