Support group under the auspices of  All Progressives Congress APC Advocates Forum has pleaded with Nigerians to forgive the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his alleged pro-terrorists remarks.
The group pleaded that since the minister has apologized and recanted his extremists views, he should be  forgiven and judged based on his track record of service and not his past.
While addressing a press conference Monday in Abuja, the group likened Pantami’s repentance and recant of the extremists views he held in the past to the conversion of the Biblical Apostle Paul on his way to Damascus.
Convener, APC Advocates Forum, Comrade Kabiru Duhu, conceded that “Dr Pantami is one Nigerian who has had to speak in positive terms in the past out of his conviction as an impressionable Islamic cleric, about AlQaeda and Osama Bin Laden at a time many other clerics in Nigeria believed that Saudi Arabia was doing the right thing”.
He added that, “along the line, he (Pantami) had an experience similar to what the Holy Bible told us that Apostle Paul had on the road to Damascus after he was exposed to fresh evidence”.
The forum said Pantami thereafter openly recanted his previous comments and took it upon himself to preach against Islamic extremist ideologies across major cities of Northern Nigeria and which has over the years made him a target for Boko Haram.
“So, whereas many Nigerians from the South first heard about Dr Pantami when President Muhammadu Buhari named him the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and subsequently as a cabinet member, he had for at least 10 years been a known figure in the North for his itinerant anti-Boko Haram preachings.
“He was in fact one of the few Islamic preachers that dared preached publicly against the deadly sect,before it was designated as a terrorist group, and which was why Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the insurgent group in February 2020 issued a fatwa on him and reminded Nigerians how his group shot and killed other preachers”, the forum stated.
They also hailed the minister for his achievements in the ministry within two years, recalling how he launched the decade-long Economic Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria in 2019 as well as the development of a SIM Card Registration Policy in February 2020.
The forum said, “under Pantami, there is now a revised NIN-SIM Registration Policy, the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020 – 2025), launching of the Emergency Communication Centres and 112 Emergency Communication Number, significant drop in Right of Way charges after meeting with state governors” and a host of other achievements.

 


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