By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
The presidency has rationalised its defence of Dr. Isa Pantami, saying the allegation of support for terrorist organisations leveled against the minister of communication and digital economy was different from the forgery case of a former minister of finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, made the assertions on Friday during a Channels TV programme monitored by our reporter in Abuja.
Recall that Adeosun resigned as minister in September, 2018 after it was reported that her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate was forged.
According to Shehu, the presidency’s response would have been different if Pantami had forged his certificate like Adeosun did.
He said, “In the second case which is that of Pantami, you are probing the thoughts, what is called ‘McCarthyism’. You search the inner recesses of the minds of individuals, bring out things they have said, or they are about to say, or you think they would say, and use that against them.
“If Pantami had forged certificate before coming into office, the attitude (of the presidency) would have been different.
“We don’t remain in the same position. Don’t assume that things cannot change. If the one who created you gives it to you that from being bad, you can become good, what says you should deny some other persons this right?” Shehu queried.
He also dismissed insinuations that the presidency’s support for Pantami suggests the President Muhammadu Buhari administration tolerates violent religious extremism.
“Those people who stand in criticism of a man who has said he had wronged the society, he has apologised and changed, and they are not willing to forgive him to move on, they are the ones who are the problem. They are the ones who are deeply intolerant,” he added.