Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, has said that Nigerians will regret it if the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, is removed from office because of his previous extremist views and comments.
Calls for the sack or resignation of Pantami have been on the front burner in the last two weeks after previous videos surfaced online showing the Minister as a Sheik, declaring support for terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban.
Pantami in a statement released afterward, recanted his statements, saying his position at the time was based on his understanding as a teenager.
In a fresh interview with Roots TV, Gumi said the allegations against the minister are unfounded and should be discarded.
“You cannot Islamise the whole world. Jesus Christ came; he could not Christianise the whole world. Nobody can Islamise or Christianise Nigeria. All his actions, one hundred percent, show 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 sympathiser.
And you people are fighting them. No. You should get more people like Pantami and put them in power. It will stabilise. Don’t remove him. You’ll regret.”he said
Last week, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, alleged that the recent calls for the sack or resignation of the minister is being sponsored by the opposition and some unnamed Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies. According to a statement by Shehu, Pantami made enemies because he tried to ''put Nigeria first and had initiated plans and policies that would profit the public.'' It acknowledged that the comments made by Pantami were wrong and in bad taste but said the minister had repented from the views and also apologized, adding that they were youthful errors. Read here.
Watch a clip from the interview below