Forgive Pantami and Move On


Businessman and politician, boro Otu, weighs-in on the controversy surrounding the involvement of Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy with terrorism and concludes that while his apology can be accepted by Nigerians, he must resign from the Federal Executive Council

When the news of Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami’s dalliance with terrorism and fundamentalist ideals first broke, it sounded too bad to be true; more like fake news on steroids. I had to wait on my fingers for confirmation or denunciation from source. However, Pantami himself has come out to apologize and confirm that most of the stories are indeed true. I’m now forced to put pen on paper to express my thoughts on this serious national issue with global implications.

Pantami has asked for forgiveness and acknowledged his shortcomings in the several statements, videos, audios and other terrorism related materials he himself had released. To me, having watched a bit of his interviews – mostly out of curiosity, especially the recent one he did with Cyril Stober as Minister of Communications, I must say this man is a very intelligent, exposed, composed, strategic and articulate individual. Put a tool in his hands and watch him transform such tool into a constructive or killing machine – whichever his mind truly panders to. Unfortunately no one can tell the heart of any man than God himself but we must forgive and move on. I share in the opinion that Pantami should be forgiven as he is only human.

But I must say, though. Having seen how impressive this man is, his international clout and exposure, his understanding of the politics of things, he also must be fully aware of the wide destructive implications both global, regional and national, such past inciting material of his have done to his personality and how his occupation of such sensitive position in a nation like Nigeria can truncate security and economic relationships especially with the West and with other countries who might want to partner with Nigeria in resolving our security and social-economic challenges. It should be easy for him to reason that why countries like the USA and Europe are hesitant about selling specific military equipment and technologies to us could be because people like him sit at the highest table where security and other decisions are made and nothing could stop him from supposedly telling his former compadres. He also should be in best position to know that forgiveness has nothing to do with effectiveness and in a country of 200 million people, he must be out of his head to think he is still best suited for his job. This is beyond Pantami as staying in the Nigerian cabinet means it is not an effective team. The question then is, should Pantami, with all his intelligence and wisdom, still wait for be fired – if he has, himself, found himself wanting in the most serious department of national security?

I must say, if Pantami doesn’t resign himself, he indicts the whole government of Buhari whether he is fired or not, as it goes to show that people like him are welcome at the highest table; serving a supporting master. If he doesn’t resign, it goes to show another part of a likely coin, the first having just been exposed, his genuflections and apologies are possibly another fickle move to get him unto the next level; a possible national betrayal probably.

I have nothing against the fine young man, but I just imagine if he was from any part of the country but the North, would his minister head still be hanging on his neck?

Issues like this make it impossible to trust this government or trust there isn’t a hidden agenda against sections of this supposed great nation. In a country where bandits and herdsmen are wantonly killing without adequate government intervention, it isn’t far fetched to imagine it could be part of a wider national conspiracy to take over the country by certain sects empowered by same country. It’s sickening to imagine. We grapple with corrupt politicians, nepotistic government and acts of impunity from all sides, adding terrorist-friendly, bandit-hugging fundamentalists to our government immediately illegitimizes such government and even marks it as a terrorist entity to watching global powers. We all can suffer as a result of a single individual.

I’m certain Pantami can resume his personal enterprise elsewhere other than where he presently is. He is a smart guy. He should immediately entertain such possibilities.