President Muhammadu Buhari will not sack Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over comments backing terrorism years back.
A source revealed that even if the minister resigns President Buhari would reject his resignation.
Speaking to Daily Post Thursday night after the president attacked critics, the source stated that despite the audio and video tapes on the internet Buhari is not willing to sack Pantami.
“The President will not sack Pantami, I can tell you this. The reason for his position is that he strongly believes any attack on his appointee is an attack on him,” he said.
“He is not someone who will remove someone because people are making such demands. Look back since he assumed office, how many people has he removed on the grounds of allegations?
“Once he agrees to work with you, that’s it. He won’t say due to any protest or campaign, the minister should pack his bags and leave the government.”
The source referred Nigerians to the achievements of Pantami, the statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, mentioned.
He said all the factors listed were why the presidency believes the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration was under ‘sponsored attacks’.
Pantami had once revealed how joyful he used to feel with the killing of those he considered infidels.
The minister said this in three audio recordings of his teachings in the 2000s, when he condemned deadly operations of the then Al Qaeda and Taliban elements who were on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world.
The minister said; “We are all happy whenever unbelievers are being killed,” Mr Pantami said. “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,” he added.
Pantami in his submission while responding to audience questions about his views on the then leader of the terrorist group, Osama Bin Laden, stated that he still considers the leader of the extremists a better Muslim faithful to himself.
But the minister recanted the comments on Saturday, saying that he has “changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.”
Isa Pantami blamed immaturity and limited knowledge for his views back then.
In a statement by Garba Shehu, his media assistant, Buhari said Pantami’s ordeal in the hands of those calling for his sack was not about his past utterances but about his current job as a minister.
Buhari backed Pantami’s explanation that he was young when he made those statements and that his position had since changed.
Source: Naija News