A group, Forum of Christian Bishops and Clergy Council, on Tuesday, April 27 held a solidarity rally in support of the minister of communications and digital economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, in Abuja.
The group also threw its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari on his stance on the allegations against the minister. The Forum said those behind the allegations were cabals affected by reforms championed by the minister in the Nigerian telecoms and ICT sector. Minister Pantami has been under fire for his comments in support of international terrorist groups in the past.
The Forum of Christian Bishops and Clergy Council have thrown their weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari on his stance on the allegations that have trailed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali-Pantami.
The Forum, who made this known during a solidarity rally held at Unity Fountain, Abuja, said those behind the allegations were cabals affected by reforms championed by the minister.
The clerics who were carrying placards with various inscriptions declared support for what they described as President Buhari’s determination to keep the country united.
Speaking at the rally, the leader of the group, Bishop Abel King said it became necessary for it to speak out in view of varying opinions expressed over the recent allegations leveled against Mr Pantami.
“Mr President through his decision to put the country first has demonstrated the will to keep us united and not to be swayed by sentiments and outright blackmail” this is quite commendable, Bishop Abel maintained.
“Recall there have been calls for the resignation of Dr Pantami, particularly along religious, political and ethnic lines, if Mr President did not show courage, the country would have lost one of the most brilliant public officers in his administration.
“We feel that this country should rise above sentiments if we must achieve the unity, peace and development we seek as a people.
“The idea of giving every national conversation a political and religious colouration must be discouraged at all cost,” Mr King said.
The group further cautioned against inflammatory statements that are capable of raising tensions among the masses
“If we look at the reforms in the ICT sector as led by the current administration under Dr Pantami, you will understand that Nigeria needs more of such brilliant people in government, we must therefore resist the temptation to weaken the government using sentiments and politics.
“No doubt, the country losses more if we advance sentiments above facts and good reason”
“Let Nigeria win first, and we will not win by drumming war songs at every opportunity,” the group added.
The group further cautioned against inflammatory statements that are capable of raising tensions among the masses. Similarly, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, Nigeria’s foremost Islamic group under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto has lamented over what it calls the smear campaign against Pantami.
The JNI said the calls for Pantami’s sack or resignation have degenerated into wild allegations and orchestrated lies. The JNI’s position was contained in a statement seen by Legit.ng and issued on Friday, April 23 by Sheikh Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, secretary-general of the organisation.
In a related development, the Coalition of North East Groups has declared that those against Pantami are enemies of northern Nigeria. The group also accused the Nigerian media of bias in its reportage of the travails of the embattled minister.
In a statement by its northeast zonal coordinator and northeast zonal secretary, Abubakar Modire and Shuaibu Gidado, the group alleged that no stone is being left unturned to sustain what it called a campaign of calumny against the minister.
Nigerians within the nation and in diaspora set the media space on fire as they expressed their disdain and utter disappointment in the christian group and their stance in showing support for Buhari and Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications, who in the past applauded Al-Qaeda and Taliban, these are well known terrorist groups.
Some called out the christian forum and described their act of solidarity for a president who has shown indifference to the chaos going on in the country as nothing short of being heartless. While some said the group was probably paid to express their support for a country that is daily degenerating.