The Coalition of North East Groups has revealed those trying to tarnish the image of Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.
In a statement on Thursday by its North-East Zonal Coordinator and North East Zonal Secretary, Abubakar Modire and Shuaibu Gidado, the group said the enemies of the North are behind the travails of the minister.
The group said the campaign of calumny against Pantami will not succeed, adding that the North will not engage in altercations with self-appointed enemies of the region.
It also accused the media of bias in its reportage of the travails of the minister, asking the media to be fair and just in its reportage of the matter.
The group added that 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.
The statement reads: “The Coalition of Northeast Groups is hereby compelled to respond to the recent sustained media calumny directed at the personality of the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami by a traditional biased section of the national media.
“A piece of rogue reporting was recently circulated purporting to accuse the Revered Muslim intellectual who is answering the obligation for offering services to the country, of some unsubstantiated relationship with terrorism and other forms of criminality particularly in the North.
“We are concerned seeing that in spite of the Minister’s studied and dignified reserve and the North’s refusal to engage in altercations with the self-appointed enemies of the Minister and antagonists of the northern region, no stone is being left unturned by these people to see that the calumny is sustained beyond the limits and extents allowed by ordinary rules of decency.
“Unfortunately, this smear is being perpetrated by unscrupulous political powers seekers who see a latent threat in Dr. Pantami’s radical transformation of the Communication Ministry and deploying digital resources to tackle the pervasive insecurity in the North and in most parts of the country.
“The detractors who have failed to provide the slightest proof to their irresponsible allegations have inadvertently broadened their animosity beyond the Minister and aim to vent their pent-up ethnic and sectional jealousies on the entire North and its people particularly the young generation that sees Pantami as a symbol of much desired paradigm shift in the country.
“This campaign, we have noted, is one that feeds on the back of the well-known anti-northern bias of a large section of the Nigerian media, which the North never made a habit of denouncing at every occasion or on the slightest of breaches of decorum and etiquette in the hope that they would change to being more restrained in reporting on matters that affect the wellbeing and security of the people without resorting to anti-ethnic and anti-religious overkill.
“We at the Coalition of Northeast Groups hereby say this trend unfolding against the North and its most dynamic leaders is unacceptable and warn the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, use its powers to call media operators to order in their reporting of all security situations in the country, and to eschew the slanted reporting of events with greater bias against a particular religious and ethnic group as witnessed in the recent reporting against Dr. Pantami.”
Source: Naija News