By Aliyu M. Aliyu
Former Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Assembly matters, Alhaji Abdurrahman Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, has condemned in strong term the recent attack on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami.
Kawu Sumaila, in a statement he signed and sent to Newsmen on Thursday, said those behind the purported comments on terrorist groups which were attributed to the minister were detractors, blackmailer and enemy of Nigerian progress.
Sumaila said: “I wonder why some people wanted to tarnish the image of a man who devoted his time, vast knowledge both Islamic and western for the overall development of Nigeria. Sheikh Pantami is among the few Islamic scholars that summoned the courage to engage the leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, late Muhammad Yusuf in a public debate. The video clip of this debate which went viral is still in circulation on YouTube and other social media platforms.
“Why people easily forgot this great work done by the Sheikh? If at all the minister has any link to the terrorist groups, can he make confront the leader of Boko Haram? The answer is certainly no. So, this will clearly tell Nigerians that those who concocted the comments and attributed them to Sheikh Pantami do not mean well to him and the country.
“After all, Pantami has publicly denounced the comments and from the method of preaching one can clearly understand that the minister has nothing to do with any terrorist group here in Nigeria or outside the country. I want to use this opportunity to condemn in a strong term those who are calling for the minister to step down from his position.
Kawu Sumaila lamented that if the minister has hand in the activities of a terrorist group, the Nigerian security agencies should have known that for a very long time, saying the Islamic scholars had been preaching for decades before his appointment as minister.
“Again, if the minister has any link to any terrorist group, he wouldn’t be allowed to study in both United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia respectively. We all know how serious these two countries are taking issues of terrorism and other related security matters. So, for someone to accuse Sheikh Pantami of links to a terrorist group, I am sure that person must be joking.
Kawu Sumaila, a founder, of Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State, therefore called on the president, federal government and Nigerians irrespective of their religious inclination not only to disregard the accusation, saying it is high time that Nigerians should not allow few individuals among them to promote disunity under the banner of religion.