Connect with us

Personality

Presidency defends Pantami, threatens ICT companies sponsoring smear campaigns

Published

on

Spread the love

Presidency defends Pantami, threatens ICT companies sponsoring smear campaigns

The Presidency has defended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami over the tirades of attacks and public demand for him to resign over alleged extremist views.

In a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President Media and Publicity Garba Shehu the Presidency said, “This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.
The statement reads,
“The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing; he has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money; he has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs; he has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected.

“In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.

“In putting people first, the Minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means.
“And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections.
The statement indicated that government is now investigating the veracity behind the claims of attempted inducement.
“Should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.

“The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services. “

Pantami, last Saturday acknowledged his past views but said he has since renounced those radical comments blaming his past radical posture on age, immaturity and limited knowledge.
“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity,” Daily Trust quoted Pantami as saying during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja.

“I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager. I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”

His renunciation notwithstanding, more people on social media joined the call for him to resign. His critics said the views he expressed as a university student cannot be blamed on age.

Trouble started for the minister after Peoples Gazette unearthed his past views which were sympathetic to terrorist organisations.
“We are all happy whenever unbelievers are being killed,” Peoples Gazette quoted Pantami as saying in an audio recording. “But the Sharia does not allow us to kill them without a reason.”
“Our zeal (hamasa) should not take precedence over our obedience to the sacred law.”
Pantami reportedly made the incendiary comments while answering questions on the late Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who masterminded the destruction of the World Trade Centre. At least 3000 people died when planes crashed into the twin towers of WTC on September 11, 2001.
Pantami initially denied holding any extremists views and chalked down the reports to defamation of character by people miffed by his policies as the minister of communication and digital economy.
But he said on Saturday that he has since been preaching against those extremist views he held more than a decade before he became a minister.
“For 15 years, I have moved around the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism,” Pantami reportedly said on Saturday.
“I have travelled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.
“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Personality

Beyond Press Statement, clear your name over link to bandits, APC Chieftain tells General Abdulsalami

Published

on

By

Spread the love

***Supports ACF call for full investigation

A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger state, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has dismissed reports linking the former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar to supplying food and weapons to bandits terrorizing parts of the state, describing such report as unfortunate and wicked.

However, the former spokesman of APC in the state advised the former head of state not to stop at a mere press statement in trying to exonerate himself from the purported online report, “But rather should address the people of the state and put the records straight in other to clear himself of this heinous allegation”.
Vatsa, who is also a former commission for information, culture and tourism in the State while dismissing the report, expressed surprise that one year after this rumor has been on, nobody has been able to show the public the image of the alleged crash helicopter, stressing that “we would have loved to see the image of the helicopter.
“This rumor is over one year now that a helicopter belonging to the former head of state, supplying food and weapons was brought down by the villagers through “black power” but up till now nobody has shown us the picture or the crash site”, he said.
Vatsa who is the coordinator on public affairs to Governor Sani Bello nevertheless threw his weight behind the call by a Northern group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for a full investigations into the report to unravel the mystery behind the helicopter saga.
Vatsa pointed out that all well meaning Nigerians should support every efforts that will bring the security situation in the country to an end, adding that “we must join hands to address this security situation before it consumes all of us”.
According to him, linking the former head of state to helicopter supplying weapons and food to bandits in the state without any physical evidence is a mere distraction from the reality on ground, adding that “I think the security agents have what it takes to do a thorough investigation into the matter and let Nigerians know the true situation”.
He commended the Army and other security agencies for the ongoing Military operations in forests across the state which he said, is beginning to yield some positive results leading to the return of some Internally Displaced People (IDP) to their homes.

Continue Reading

Personality

How Forensic audit, completion of NDDC Headquarters created more enemies for Akpabio

Published

on

By

Spread the love

How Forensic audit, completion of NDDC Headquarters created more enemies for Akpabio

The Special Assistant to the Minister of Niger Delta on Project Monitoring Committee on NDDC, Anthony Ekene Onwuka, has indicated that his boss, Godswill Obot Akpabio is the most Petitioned more than any minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet, because he ordered the Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on the update of issues on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Onwuka, disclosed that the minister is also being fought because he completed the NDDC headquarters which has been abandoned for over 26 years before he was appointed minister.

He said most of the petitions against the comes from those who didn’t mean well for the development of Niger Delta region, according to the minister’s aide.
Onwuka pointed out that ever since since Akpabio ordered a forensic audit of the Commission’s previous projects, his traducers would not give him breathing space.
According to him, the forensic audit initiated by Akpabio would unveil sharp practices with regards to authenticity of some projects or otherwise, a situation that challenged the old order, thereby, letting hell loosed with all forms of petitions to frustrate him out of office.

He said: “But l am worried that some people don’t want Akpabio to succeed; they do everything possible to sabotage him by writing all manner of petitions against him.
“However, he is an enigma and a transformer who seriously want to change the narrative in the Niger Delta region.
“I will never forget the day he was addressing his staff, and he said, ‘NDDC must succeed and Niger Delta must register uncommon development.
“What will I tell my children tomorrow; I must stamp my trademark, my brother, you need to see the passion for a better Niger Delta. The love for his people, I was challenged and when he said SA, go back to your office, you have my support.
“At this juncture, I want to humbly appeal to all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to support Senator Akpabio in his efforts to make NDDC work, develop and sustain a new Niger Delta region.”

“Since he assumed office, the Minister has completed the NDDC’s headquarters after 26 years in the works, a project that defied seven consecutive boards and many CEOs.
“When the Interim Management Committee (lMC) was accused of corruption and ineptitude, Senator Akpabio, in his struggle to succeed as a supervising minister of the agency, accepted the introduction of the appointment of an Interim Administrator by Mr President to ensure a smooth running system pending the completion of the forensic audit report before the constitution of a substantive board according to relevant sections of our constitution.

“Within this period of the Interim Administrator, the NDDC permanent site was completed and commissioned by President Buhari, saving NDDC a whopping 300 million Naira paid as yearly rent by the commission”, he said.
Onwuka, who is a Diaspora Nigerian having lived in Germany for years called on Nigerians living abroad to come home and invest in the economy, saying the system in Nigeria wasn’t different from those foreign countries, save for culture and tradition of the people.
“The system here in Nigeria is not completely different from the one we know abroad, except that our customs and values here are not the same, and these are variables that one has to contend with.
“Frankly, the Nigerian system in particular, presents a lot of interesting challenges but they are still surmountable.”

Continue Reading

Personality

Khalid Adams felicitates with Muslims at Ramadan

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Khalid Adams felicitates with Muslims at Ramadan

The MD/CEO of ROCHL investments and Properties, Abuja, Alhaji Khalid Adams has felicitated with the entire Muslim Ummah as they observe the one Pillar of Islam which is fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan

The Kogi born politician/property manager also charged the Muslim Ummah in the State and nation at large to imbibe the spirit of forgivenes love and unity which he said, forms the core sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW).

He urged the people of the State to use the period to pray for the land and for sober reflection.

Adams who is also a former APC Governorship aspirant in the last Governorship primary of the party in he State, called on Nigerians to be security conscious at all times.

Continue Reading

Trending