Some safety specialists on Saturday dismissed the apology by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economic system, Isa Pantami, over some controversial feedback he made previously in help of worldwide terrorist teams, Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
The safety analysts stated Pantami’s feedback had been too weighty to be discarded, demanding both the minister’s wilful resignation or sacking by President Muhammadu Buhari.
For example, a retired Military Captain in the US Military, Bishop Johnson, stated it was not widespread for folks with extremist ideologists to alter in a single day.
He stated it was extra troubling when folks with extremist ideologies had been in command of delicate nationwide knowledge.
“When folks have radical ideologies, they do not change in a single day. They’ll carry such ideologies into no matter workplaces they occupy. So folks with extremist ideologies shouldn’t occupy delicate positions,” Johnson stated in a report by SundayPunch.
Pantami has been beneath fireplace recently over feedback he allegedly made a number of years in the past in help of Al-Qaeda – an extremist group based by the late Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 assaults in the US. On Might 2, 2011, Bin Laden was killed by the U.S. Navy SEALs inside a non-public residential compound in Pakistan.
Pantami additionally made feedback supporting the Taliban, a Sunni Islamist motion and navy organisation in Afghanistan presently waging jihad throughout the nation.
“This jihad is an obligation for each single believer, particularly in Nigeria,” Pantami was quoted to have stated in one in every of his vicious preachings within the 2000s. “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” he was additionally quoted to have prayed.
As large outrage and demand for his sacking continued on social media on Saturday, Pantami renounced his controversial feedback on terrorism.
He acknowledged that a few of his previous views had been made out of immaturity, alleging that assaults on him by Nigerians had been politically instigated.
He spoke throughout his day by day Ramadan lecture in Abuja on Saturday.
Pantami stated, “For 15 years, I’ve moved across the nation whereas educating folks in regards to the risks of terrorism. I’ve travelled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno and Kano states, and Difa within the Niger Republic to evangelise in opposition to terrorism.
“I’ve engaged these with Boko Haram ideologies somewhere else. I’ve been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I’ve managed to deliver again a number of younger individuals who’ve derailed from the best path.”
He added, “A number of the feedback I made some years in the past which are producing controversies now had been based mostly on my understanding of non secular points on the time, and I’ve modified a number of positions taken previously based mostly on new proof and maturity.”
Pantami stated he made some controversial feedback when he was nonetheless a teen and insisted that he had modified his views in regards to the points getting used in opposition to him presently.
He stated, “I used to be younger once I made a number of the feedback. I used to be in college. A number of the feedback had been made once I was a teen. I began preaching once I was 13.
“Many students and people did not perceive some worldwide occasions and, due to this fact, took some positions based mostly on their understanding. Some have come to alter their positions later.”
Some Ministry of Communications and Digital Financial officers had additionally defended the minister and expressed fear over social media assaults in opposition to Pantami recently.
The minister’s aide, Uwa Suleiman, advised Sunday PUNCH that Pantami had all the time kicked in opposition to acts of terrorism and puzzled why he was being attacked on terrorism points.
Nonetheless, regardless of Pantami’s regrets over the feedback, Johnson, the retired U.S. Military Captain, stated the President ought to sack the minister ought to he (Pantami) fail to resign.
“When there may be an outcry by the folks, such an individual ought to resign, but when he does not, the President who appointed him into the workplace has an obligation to alleviate him of his duties in order that the problem does not drag the administration,” Johnson stated.
Johnson added that the Pantami difficulty might be likened to the scenario with a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who resigned over the Nationwide Youth Service Corps certificates scandal.
“You might be conscious of the NYSC certificates scandal of the previous Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun. She resigned when the problem was dragging the administration. It is much like the Pantami case. He (Pantami) shouldn’t occupy that form of workplace,” Johnson stated.
He additionally cautioned in opposition to poor vetting and screening of individuals holding public workplaces sooner or later.
“As much as the college degree, it’s a must to take a look at the theses they wrote as a result of all these items will assist to know the person’s ideology and philosophy. The screening course of in Nigeria is a joke. The ministerial nominees go earlier than the Senate and take a bow, with out asking them any questions and taking a look at their pasts,” he added.
The Nationwide President of Criminology and Safety Practitioners Affiliation of Nigeria, Williams Ekposon, stated although Pantami claimed to have renounced his help for terrorist teams, the minister was unfit of being entrusted with info as delicate as Nigerians’ knowledge. He urged Pantami to apologise to Nigerians and resign from his appointment.
Ekposon stated, “We’ve to be very cautious of our speech and the way we go about doing issues. Professionally, that form of particular person shouldn’t be in command of the information of Nigerians. No politician will admire being recognized with Al-Qaeda or Taliban, or every other terrorist group.
“Within the gentle of the place he’s holding, Nigerians will not be safe; our knowledge will not be safe with any individual who had wept sentiments with terrorists. A terrorist is a psychedelic being. If a delicate public workplace holder has made a press release linked to terrorists, there’s something fishy about it. He ought to apologise to Nigerians and humbly resign. Let it’s that the appointment was made in error.”
Additionally, a Lagos-based safety professional, Dickson Osajie, suggested the minister to tender his resignation on account of his “romance with terrorists” previously.
He stated if efficient pre-appointment screening had been put in place, an investigation would have revealed that Pantami had a gentle spot for terrorists. He would have been disqualified from holding such a vital ministerial place.
He acknowledged, “The issue we’ve got in Nigeria is that we do not perform efficient pre-employment screening earlier than we make use of folks into strategic positions. The workplace Pantami is occupying is likely one of the most delicate positions. Punch
“For me, I anticipated that earlier than he was appointed, there ought to have been a pre-appointment screening which might have appeared into his knowledge way back to 30 years in the past. We’re not speaking about repentance right here; we’re speaking about nationwide safety. I learn one in every of his articles the place he stated he had repented.
“However the reality is that the remark he made resulted in instigating terrorist teams. I do not suppose folks like which are certified to carry public workplaces. Individuals should be held accountable for his or her statements and actions.”
Osajie stated if Pantami misplaced his place, it could be a deterrent to those that suppose they may make any assertion within the public house and go scot-free.
He added, “I’m not contesting the truth that he had repented as he claimed. However the reality is he must resign as a result of he must set an instance for upcoming extremists that they do not should put Nigeria in danger. There may be energy within the tongue. No matter you say in the present day can destroy many lives.”
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