People Politics

Pantami: Reps Faults Nigerians For Not Speaking Up During Ministerial Screening

Following Nigerians’ call that the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Pantami should resign over his comment supporting a terrorist group, a member of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Gagdi, has blamed Nigerians who knew the past pro-Taliban view of the Minister, but yet didn’t speak up during his ministerial screening in 2019.

According to reports, the lawmaker, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, said he was amongst those who screened Pantami in 2019.

He made it known that the Department of State Services didn’t send any report to the National Assembly on the past extremist views of the minister during his screening two years ago.

According to Gagdi, “This pressure which some Nigerians who are privileged to know the commitment and disposition of Pantami when he was 34, why didn’t they bring it up to the attention of the National Assembly during the screening of the ministerial nominees?”.

He added that, “These Nigerians that have access to this very important information, what stopped them from hitting the media with it at the time the screening exercise was being conducted? That was the time the National Assembly had the power to reject nominations of the President or to confirm nominations”.

“If the information had gone out and the National Assembly had gone ahead to confirm Pantami, then I will accept responsibility that the National Assembly had done extremely bad”.

Reacting to the backup Pantami had received from the President, the lawmaker said the President has a right to sack or retain Pantami in his cabinet.

He said, “He (the President) has the right to either give the man (Pantami) a prerogative of mercy or to sack the man. That is his own power just as President (Donald) Trump before the end of his tenure decided to forgive criminals in the United States which was unacceptable to some democrats. It is the same democracy that we practice in Nigeria”.

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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