Ministerial Scandal in Nigeria.

…. Sheikh Dr. Pantami, an Islamic terrorist, appointed federal minister.

It has been revealed that Isa Pantami, Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, is a sympathizer and sponsor of terrorist groups. His association with terrorists transcends the domestic groups.

Isa Ali Ibrahim known nationally as Sheikh Pantami is a radical Islamic scholar who has strong connection with international terrorist groups and leaders. Some of the groups include Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Boko Haram, Islamic State of West Africa Province, Fulani Herdsmen, Fulani Bandits, Usama bin-Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, etc.

Alhaji Pantami, a Fulani by tribe, was first appointed Director General and Chief Executive Officer of National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016. In 2019, just within three years, he was promoted to his present portfolio, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy by the same president. Since he was a Director General, a post that is equivalent to a ministerial position, his confirmation by the Senate was express. He was asked to bow and go. There and then, he was confirmed a minister for the federal republic in August 2019.

Before his accelerated promotion, those who knew him better warned the presidency of his religious bigotry and Islamic extremism. He is a Fulani like the president, attended prestigious universities both home and abroad, therefore, for the president and his cronies, Sheikh Pantami deserves automatic recognition. His religious excesses were ignored by the president and his political “god-fathers,” mentors.

In Nigeria, a political mentor is described as a political “god-father”. There is a clear difference between the two. While a mentor mentors a young man how to be a good leader, a political “god-father” connects a young person with powerful leaders. He is not interested in good leadership since he himself is not a good leader. His interest is to use his influence and get the person an appointment that is most often not based on merit but on his social standing.

This was the case of Alhaji Isa Pantami. In spite of his lofty education pedigree, he was a radical Imam. He combined his formal education with Islamic and Quranic studies. He was even a campus Islamic minister and was known for his radical preaching both as a student and thereafter.

To put paid to his Islamic extremist ideology, Dr. Pantami celebrated the September 11, 2001 vicious attack on the US by Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist group, describing Usama bin Laden as a better Muslim than himself because of his extreme jihadist ideas. “Oh God. give victory to the Taliban and to Al-Qaeda,” he said after the attack. He declared that “jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria.” Every believer means every Muslim! He mourned loudly the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq saying, “May God have mercy on Ahmad Fadeel al-khalayleh.” This was al-Zarqawi’s original name.

President Buhari had this useful but dangerous intelligence on Sheikh Pantami; yet, he went ahead and gave him sensitive positions. He is equally in charge of National Identification Number. A sensitive national agency that is entrusted with the collation of private data on the citizens. The unquantified presidential confidence in him in spite of his radical religious inclinations enabled him to start transacting business with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in Nigeria.

Northern political and religious leaders have accused those making useful revelations on him and calling for his resignation as enemies of the North and Islam. President Buhari had made similar comment on Boko Haram, saying that war against the terrorist group is war against the North and Islam. This is how Nigeria works! It is the reason for its backwardness. A country full of great men and women. It is a country ruled on parochial and religious sentiments. A country where impunity holds sway.

Nigeria is walking slowly into self-destructive dynamite that it has set for itself. For the past few years, bombs and sounds of AK-47 are up in every part and every corner of the country. This is a country with strict gun control where people are not allowed to own even a pistol. It is the consequence of incompetence in the presidency.

The country is the patrimony of the president. He can do whatever he likes with it including toppling state governors and changing them with his loyalists who didn’t win any election. This is done with the express mandate by the president for them to cause confusion in their respective states.

Nigeria has degenerated from a country in anarchy to a failed state.

No country run like Nigeria will survive. Britain, the colonial master supposed to have known this. When they came to the place, they were already sophisticated in modern management knowledge and techniques including social and corporate psychology. This background would have guided them in making important decisions about the colony.

They purposely ignored it perhaps for their self-aggrandizement and lumped people of widely different and opposing cultures together. The result thereafter was ethnic misunderstanding and lack of patriotism in the land.

A video by a former British diplomat trended recently on social media, claiming that the amalgamation of the country was an indigenous choice. This is an obvious lie! The indigenous people were neither consulted nor asked to vote for the amalgamation. It was solely done by Britain through its colonial Governor-General in the country, Lord Frederick Lugard. This exploitative policy earned him big respect in Britain, including the royal family.

The present British political leaders should try to right the wrong done by their ancestors. This has become critical because Nigeria is boiling and could explode anytime from now. The country experienced atrocious 3 years civil war that took the lives of 2 million of its citizens. Any civil war again in Nigeria will not only be a disaster for the country but will affect the whole of Africa and perhaps the world.  

Meanwhile, Alhaji Pantami is on the US terrorism watchlist. He can’t easily enter US, yet, he is a minister in Nigeria and senior member of the federal executive council. His party, All Progressives Congress, Northern top politicians, leaders of thought, and Islamic leaders are denying his unwholesome antecedents and are calling for him to continue in office.

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