Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Two names that have notably been so frequently mentioned in the news in recent times, in connection to banditry and insurgency are that of Amhad Gumi and Isa Pantami. Both of these individuals have been either indicted for having dealings with the insurgents, advocating for them, or acting in direct support of their nefarious activities, as many Nigerian’s have gradually come to believe.
Recent reports revealed that Ahmad Gumi, a well-known Islamic cleric, has in his usual characteristic manner, come out to speak against proposed plans by the general populace, urging the federal government, to remove the Minister of communications and digital economy, from office. These agitations have resulted in so many negative accusations and indictment by a vast majority of citizens, who are strongly convinced and believe that he is affiliated with terrorists, as witnessed in the recent scourge of insurgency and banditry within the nation.
The religious leader has warned that any attempt to proceed with such a plan will result in a huge regret and spell dire consequences, if Isa Pantami, is tossed out of office.
Recall that the decision to remove the minister from his position, is emanating from the general agitations, and cries of millions of Nigerians and other political factions who have been asking President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Pantami, especially after overwhelming videotapes from the early 2000’s showed up whereby the minister was witnessed speaking in support of two well known global terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.
In response to these accusations, Pantami has come out publicly, to renounced and explain his preceding views on the terrorist groups, saying his position at the time was based on his understanding as a teenager.
Meanwhile, commenting during an interview session hosted by media outlets, Roots TV, on Monday, 26th April 2021, Gumi in defense of the minister, remarked that, the said allegations against the minister are unfounded and should be discarded. In his words;
“You cannot Islamise the whole world. Jesus Christ came; he could not Christianise the whole world. Nobody can Islamise or Christianise Nigeria,” Gumi said.
“All his actions, one hundred percent, shows he is not a terrorist. Those who are terrorists are after his life. The minister should continue. His presence there is fighting the terrorist ideology.
“Show me, one person, he has killed. He has not killed anybody. He has not ordered the killing of anybody. Discard the fake news. The man is stabilizing a government among a section of youths, which we want them to come and join in nation-building. They should not throw him away. Leave him. He is not a terrorist sympathizer.
“And you people are fighting them. No. You should get more people like Isa Pantami and put them in power. It will stabilize. Don’t remove him. You’ll regret.”
The presidency has also defended Pantami, alleging that information and communications technology (ICT) companies are the ones behind calls for the minister’s removal.