Nigerians now know Buhari aligns with Pantami’s view on terrorism, says Ezekwesili— 2mins read
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A former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili has said that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari aligns with the extremist views of Communication Minister Isa Ali Pantami.
Ezekwesili said this Friday via a series of tweets while reacting to the Presidency’s defence of Pantami.
The Presidency had, on Thursday evening, defended Pantami’s previous stance on terrorism, saying he was a young man when he made those assertions.
“In that singular act of siding with his Minister of Communication, @NGRPresident @MBuhari actually conveyed a message on his view of terrorism. Nigerians now know that his views align with that of his Minister,” Ezekwesili said.
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She noted that she did not agree with the position of the Presidency over the views of Pantami on religion because the minister had sworn an oath to public office.
According to the former minister, Buhari had ‘persisted in badly managing’ the diversity of the Nigerian citizens.
An Associate Fellow of Africa Programme with the Chatham House Leena Hoffman said dismissing questions about those views as positions held when Pantami was young and naïve or as an example of cancel culture was premium gaslighting.
She stated that Pantami’s view on establishing overall Jihad was one that had not been properly interrogated, adding that an honest and accountable government would show an appetite to do so transparently.
“Pantami is representative of a hyper-zealous cadre of clerics who proliferated the puritanical Salafi literalist creed of Islam which has reshaped northern Nigeria in deeply volatile ways,” Hoffman said.
She further stated that the Communications Minister was not just a fringe voice in the restructuring, rather he was a forefront charismatic cleric and debater who indoctrinated and suffocated the critical thinking and development of a generation of Muslim youths.
“Northern Nigeria is in the grips of a crisis of moral vigilantist chauvinism because of a steady diet of extreme, puritanical doctrines from the likes of Pantami. Where is the personal accountability for his moral chauvinism and extremist views about non-Muslims,” She noted.
A senior Advocate of Nigeria Mike Ozekhome had insisted that in a ‘saner clime’ Pantami should have resigned or be sacked.
Ozekhome said this in a statement titled ‘The Leopard And Its Unchanging Spots’ and made available to journalists.
He said Pantami had not changed his extreme Islamic views because, on March 22, his Ministry hosted a virtual flag-off ceremony for a capacity development programme which was not covered by prominent television stations rather, a very little-known Islamic TV channel called Al-Afrikiy was contracted to relay an event organised by the Federal Government of Nigeria.