– The minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has come under fire for controversial comments he made
– Nigerians have called for the minister to resign his position or for the federal government to remove him
– The presidency has, however, defended Pantami, saying calls for his resignation are instigated by those who want him out
The Nigerian presidency has finally reacted to the allegations that the minister of communication and digital economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, made statements in the past supporting terrorists groups.
The presidency’s reaction was contained in series of tweets by the senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.
Shehu in his statement on Thursday, April 22, defended the embattled minister by aligning with the submission of Pantami that he was young when he made those statements.
According to the presidential spokesman, Pantami is currently subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal as minister.
He went on to note that time has passed, and the minister’s opinion has since changed.
While throwing its weight behind the embattled minister, the presidency shared Pantami’s achievements in the current administration.
This development is coming hours after the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, avoided a question on whether the federal government feels comfortable with Pantami’s continued presence in the cabinet.
Statehouse correspondents questioned Mohammed on the council’s disposition towards increasing calls for Pantami’s removal.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the minister of communications and digital economy backtracked on some of the extreme views he held about terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Pantami during a Ramadan lecture at the Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, April 17, said he made the controversial comments when he was young and inexperienced.
He told his audience that some of the comments he made then were uttered as far back as when he was a teenager.
In a related development, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, Cletus Obun, has called for the sack or resignation of Pantami.
Obun made the call on Monday, April 19 while speaking during a breakfast programme on the African Independent Television.
He stated that Dr Pantami should be sacked from his position if he is unwilling to resign in light of the revelations made about him.