The general impression out there, in the public domain, is that, the 9th Assembly, under the incumbent senate president, Ahmed Lawan is charitable on its oversight functions, looking at the manners and characters of some of those the house had cleared to occupy sensitive positions on behalf of Nigerians in this present democratic dispensation. Nigeria, with a population of about 200 million people, the thinking and concern would have been, how to select the best brain in the land that should represent the people, each time opportunity calls, but alas, men and women with knowledge and wisdom combined together are usually missing in the radar, and not seen anywhere near the corridors of power, leaving us sadly in the hands of those, who do not have feelings for us, and what becomes of us immediately they are assigned to office. Every day, the chicken comes home to roost in Nigeria, revealing unfortunately how we are, and have been deceived by some of those our future, as citizens are entrusted into their hands. Events of the last couple of days across the country call for vigilance, especially those decisions maker for our general well-being rest on their shoulders.
This brings to mind however, that the idea of “family affairs” which is synonymous with the All Progressives Congress (APC), whereby people nominated for ministerial position were not screened but instead were asked to take a “bow” should not be contemplated at all, in future given that, some of the actions of those occupying important positions today in our society hitherto not examined thoroughly may be responsible for the tortuous moment the country is going through. For the first time, the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC), declared on Tuesday April 27, 2021, through its National Secretary Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, the disturbing insecurity situation in the country, calling on Nigerians however to unite against insurgents, banditry, criminality and other sundry vices now running riot in the society. “We must not fall for the plot of sectarian opportunists and unpatriotic partisans who have swarmed the public space with divisive rhetoric in furtherance of their selfish plot to exploit the security situation for hideous gains.
It is dangerous to national security and we should not let them succeed”. The continued silence of the leadership of the National Assembly over the issue concerning the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who was alleged to be sympathetic to the cause of Boko-Haram and Al-Qaeda is not only questionable but worrisome, especially now that the problems of insecurity have taken the centre stage of our national life. This is traceable to radical messages by religious bigots and fanatics preached to our youngsters in the past, which the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was said to be at the fore-front. This is not unconnected, a report that he, in July 2010 at a meeting of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), in Bauchi Central Mosque, allegedly plotted along with other Muslim leaders to violently wipe out Christians from Northern Nigeria. Now that everybody knows, it is also good to place on record that one of the governors in the northern part of the country has consistently said that, the worsening security situation in the country is the handwork of some highly placed individuals and some disgruntled security agents.
Instead of working hand in hand with the governor, to finding solutions, many people continued to live in denial even up to this moment Boko-Haram is said to have hoisted its flag again in almost 50 villages in Niger state. Since the story of Dr. Isa Pantami broke, the Muslim faithful, mainly from the northern parts of the country have risen to his defense, even the presidency. What this means is that, the country is in serious dilemma if we continue to go this way. That the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy passed through the screening of the hallowed chambers with all these overhang coming out at this time is almost unthinkable. To say the least, this is an indictment on the Red Chambers and equally too, on the Security Agencies that cleared him.
Now that the bubble is burst, we want to restate our earlier position which is: that this matter should be treated with the sense of urgency it requires by compelling the minister to throw in the towel, to save the country from setting bad precedents that may hurt us as a nation in the future. We call on the National Assembly to rise up and for once, call a spade a spade, and eschew the idea of telling future would be Cabinet Ministers to take a “bow” without looking into their past records. We also demand that the National Assembly should exert maximum pressure on the president, Muhammadu Buhari, who accordingly holds the knife and the yam, to do the needful, to save the country from further embarrassment since morality in our society has been thrown to the wind.