A Nigerian Lawmaker, Mr. Sergius Ogun has revealed that, a section of the country’s house of representatives is lobbying the United States to help them remove Mr. Ali Isa Pantami, the current minister of communications and Digital Economy.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Ogun said “from where I stand, I believe the minister should resign, he will go, I don’t think he will stay beyond the end of this year. Now we are approaching America for help.”
He added that, “right now we don’t have power to dictate; anything they throw at us we well accept, so for me if he doesn’t go today he will go tomorrow. But I thought the President should release him, but what do you expect from this President?”
Since his appointment by President Buhari, Mr. Ali has been under growing pressure to resign following past comments and pro-jihadist beliefs he held in defense of the damning actions of terror groups in the country. According to critics, a person of such caliber being part of the presidential cabinet undermines the country’s fight against the growing insecurity.
Despite the consistent demand for his removal, the government has so far defended the Minister; a Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu earlier said that, “the administration stands by Minister Pantami…the Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them.”
Mr. Ali was quoted by Daily Trust to have apologized by stating that, “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.”
The lawmakers are neither buying his apology nor the defense from the government; during his encounter with the media, Mr. Ogun said that, “I think people are also disenchanted with the way government is handling it.” In his view, the decision to resort to support by the United States is because they have run out of options. Do you think contracting America to meddle in Nigeria’s internal affaires is appropriate?