Discontent in House of Reps, as spokesman, minority caucus clash
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, said the Presidency’s support for embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, confirms the federal government alleged support for terrorism.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians were traumatized that the Presidency could express support for Pantami. The opposition party stated that the least the Presidency ought to have done, in the face of the allegations against Pantami was to relieve him of his appointment and “hand him over to the appropriate agency for deradicalization.”
“Our party holds that this has further exposed why the Buhari Presidency has failed to decisively confront terrorism as well as why terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and insurgents are emboldened to ravage our nation and massacre our compatriots.
“It is inexcusable that the Buhari Presidency is showing grave insensitivity to the fact that thousands of Nigerians have been massacred, maimed and horrified; that hundreds of communities have been devastated and that our nation has been under siege because of the actions and public comments by individuals like Isa Pantami.
“The PDP asserts that it is pertinent to point out that Isa Pantami had initially denied his support for terrorist groups and only admitted after he was overwhelmed by evidence thus rubbishing the lame claims by the Buhari Presidency that the minister had turned a new leaf 20 years ago,” the party stated.
Meanwhile, there is discontent among members of the House of Representatives over the handling of a matter of privilege raised by the minority, Ndudi Elumelu at Wednesday’s plenary, seeking the House to debate allegations against the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
Elumelu had on Wednesday raised a point of privilege, calling for the immediate resignation or suspension of Pantami, over his alleged links with terrorist’s groups, in the past. But the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that while his point was noted, it was not in the tradition of the House to debate matters of privilege. Amidst criticisms against the House by members of the public over the handling of the Pantami issue, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, in a statement, insisted that the parliament acted within its rules. He said the House would give audience to Elumelu or any other member, who wishes to bring the allegations against Pantami before it, once the right channel is followed. But the minority caucus, in a statement by its spokesman, Francis Agbo, yesterday, said Elumelu’s “motion” was properly presented before the House. It accused Kalu of a “sinister intention to misrepresent the rules of the House, mislead the undiscerning public and frustrate genuine effort in the fight against terrorism in our country.”