By ABDULLAHI YAKUBU, Kano
Former special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Assembly matters, Hon Abdurrahman Suleiman Kawu Sumaila, OFR, has condemned, in strong terms, the recent attack on the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami.
Honourable Sumaila, in a statement he signed, said those behind the purported comments on terrorist groups which were attributed to the minister, were detractors, blackmailers and enemies 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 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 did people forget this great work done by the Sheikh? If at all the minister has any link to the terrorist groups, can he confront leader of the Boko Haram?
“The answer is certainly no. So, this will clearly show Nigerians that those who concocted the comments and attributed them to Sheikh Pantami, do not mean well for him and the country.
“After all, the minister 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 strong terms, those who are calling for the minister to step down from his position.”
Honourable Sumaila lamented that if the minister had a hand in the activities of terrorist group, the Nigerian security agencies should have known that for a very long time, saying the Islamic scholar had been preaching for decades before his appointment as minister.