– CAN has called on Nigerians to disregard the alleged document linking Pantami to Yakowa
– Yakowa, who was a former governor of Kaduna state, died on December 2012, in a helicopter crash
– The Christian body described the document as fake and a blatant lie
As controversy rages over the calls for dismissal of the minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) have finally reacted.
Premium Times reports that the religious bodies rejected the document allegedly linking Pantami to the death of former Kaduna state governor Patrick Yakowa.
Legit.ng gathered that the chairman of CAN, Kaduna state chapter, John Hayab, made his association’s position known in a statement sent to the online medium on Thursday, April 22.
The report said that Hayab, who was Yakowa’s former special adviser on religious affairs, called on all Nigerians to ignore the insinuations linking Pantami with SYakowa’s death, in order not to endanger national peace.
“As someone very close to the late Yakowa, I call on all Nigerians to ignore the insinuations linking Pantami with Sir Yakowa’s death, endangering national peace.
“Sensitive documents like the ones purported to be from the JNI meeting in Bauchi should be subjected to thorough security investigation and trials, not tools for social media warfare.
It was learnt that Yakowa died December 2012 in a helicopter crash alongside former National Security Adviser Owoye Azazi while returning from a funeral in Bayelsa state en-route Port Harcourt.
He, therefore, called for caution to avert further chaos in communities with strained relationships as what is needed are mediatory interventions and peacebuilding, adding that after Yakowa’s death, there was no inquiry to determine the cause of his death.
The deputy secretary-general of the NSCIA, Salisu Shehu, said the document was concocted as “we do not call our religious scholars clergies.”
NSCIA is the umbrella body of Muslims in Nigeria, including JNI, one of the foremost Islamic bodies in northern Nigeria.
He noted that Pantami was not a member of JNI, so he could not have chaired the group’s meeting.
“We don’t have Shehu Maigandu. We do not write Barkin Ladi. We don’t write Dogo Nahawa. We never see Christians as dominant in the SW (South-West). The minute does not meet standard rules of meetings.
“The Jos North/Bassa federal constituency seat is always won by Jasawa. JNI does not need to struggle on it. The last occupant, Haruna Maitala died recently.”
According to the report, the secretary-general of the NSCIA, Ishaq Oloyede, had earlier on Thursday, April 22, responded to the document.
“It should be disregarded because the intention of those who fabricated it is to portray Islam in bad light and cause division between Muslims and Christians in the country.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he did not block a motion demanding the dismissal of the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami.
It was reported that Gbajabiamila said on Thursday, April 22, that he only faulted the House minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu, for not following due process when he raised the matter.