For writing a letter congratulating the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on his controversial promotion to the rank of professor, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has suspended its Gombe State Caretaker Chairman, Sunday Congo.
Naija News recalls that the Caretaker Chairman had written a letter to congratulate Pantami on his recent “promotion to the rank of a professor of cyber-security by the governing council of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri”.
But a scathing editorial published on Thursday questioned the Minister’s promotion to the rank of professor thus: “both Pantami’s doubtful assumption of a position he may not have genuinely attained and a federal university’s perfunctory handing out of an academic position to a serving minister who has never featured on its faculty list are matters which deserve to be investigated.
“Our high public officials have no business desperately hustling to obtain laurels they have not earned,” read the ThisDay editorial, which added that, “there is no evidence that the university authorities observed extant due process before awarding Pantami’s so-called promotion”.
Amid this controversy, CAN, in the suspension letter signed by its General Secretary, Joseph Daramola, stated that the congratulatory letter was written by the Gombe Caretaker Chairman without the authorisation of the Christian body.
The umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria described the action of Congo as “overzealous”, adding that it undermines the national executive council of the association.
“Following the recent publications of your congratutatory message to the Minister ‘of Communications and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ali Ibrahi Pantami, we write to inform you that your actions have generated a lot of concerns amongst members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“This action of yours in publishing and release made on behalf of the Association is tantamount to unilateral decision of you and overzealousness on your part, which was done without authorization and clearance. It is not only provocative but undermines the CAN NEC Executive. It does not in any way represent their position.
“In view of the above, you are hereby directed to relinquish your position in Gombe CAN Executive with immediate effect and hand over all CAN’s property to your next in line in your Bloc.
“In the future, you are advised to consult and get approval from the Authority of CAN National Level so that WE ALL MAY SPEAK WITH ONE VOICE,” the association said.
Earlier in the year, Pantami, an Islamic cleric, had been in the news over his preaching in the past adjudged to be in support of Islamic extremism and in support of fundamentalists. However, the minister publicly recanted his previous comments, saying he made them at a time he had little knowledge of the issues involved.