THE General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries, Auchi, Edo State, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has criticised the Nigerian government over its handling of the alleged terrorists’ affiliation of the Minister of
Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, saying a million Pantamis, however, cannot stop the spread of Christianity in northern Nigeria.
Suleman, in a veiled reference to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, added that Nigerians are counting days to the exit of a failed system and “we will survive.”
He stated on Twitter, “One million ‘Patanmis’ cannot stop the spread of christianity In northern Nigeria or anywhere for that matter. Divisive mentality and separatist ideology can never produce good governance.
We are counting days to the exit of a failed system. We have survived, we will survive..”
As many individuals and groups insist on the resignation of Pantami, over his pro-Taliban links, the Presidency on Thursday defended the minister, saying he would not be sacked.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement stated that Pantami’s ordeal in the hands of those calling for his sacking was not about his past utterances but about his current job as a minister.
The Presidency also aligned itself with the submission of the embattled minister that he was young when he made those statements and that his position had since changed.
In videos from the 2000s, Pantami, who is a known Islamic scholar, had said that while he was against the extremist anti-western ideologies of Boko Haram, he supported some of what Al-Qaeda and Taliban had preached.
But the presidency’s statement partly reads, “The Minister has, rightly, apologised for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.
“In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change. But all discerning Nigerians know this manufactured dispute is nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words, but solely concern his actions in the present
“This administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.
“In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.”
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