A group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on the platform of Progressives Professionals’ Forum (PPF) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians at large to ignore the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other “hired contractors” calling for the sack of Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Ibrahim Isa Ali Pantami.
The forum said the opposition party and it’s like cannot blackmail the minister to resign because the latter’s view has long changed from what he expressed longtime ago.
In a statement signed Wednesday in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Olalekan Paul, said it’s proud of Pantami’s achievements in the Information & Communications Technology sector, as made evident by the recent growth and developments in the sector.
The forum commended the Minister for not allowing himself to be distracted by the recent uproar while staying focused on his job.
The statement reads: “We have observed with keen interest, the public debate regarding comments attributed to the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Isa Ali Pantami across social, print, and electronic media. But the most disrespectful and irresponsible statement that caught our attention was the statement issued by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), calling for the resignation or sack of the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy.
“In response to the unfortunate statement by the PDP, the Progressives Professionals’ Forum (PPF) would love to unequivocally state that as a Minister under President Buhari’s administration, and as a member of the APC, Dr. Isa Pantami has conducted himself in the most ethical and professional manner in the discharge of his ministerial duties, and his personal attempts at promoting and enhancing peace, unity and religious tolerance among different religions in the country. This clearly shows that the present views and beliefs of Dr. Pantami are not in compliance with whatever views he may have expressed in the past.
“For this reason, it has become pertinent that we call on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and all hired contractors engaged to carry out the coordinated attacks against Dr Pantami to desist from their newfound habit and pastime of emotionally blackmailing members of the APC and appointees of this administration into resigning their appointments, or demanding that the President relieves them of their appointment.”
While calling on Pantami to break more grounds and record more successes all through his tenure as a minister under the Buhari administration, PPF appreciated the right of Nigerians to question or demand explanations and clarifications on any information suddenly made available to them by any individual or group of persons.
“We expect that such demands should be made based on a certain level of reasonability and logic, rather than on sentiments and emotions. Reasonable and well-meaning Nigerians should not allow themselves to be used by mischief-makers to drive any agenda aimed at further dividing the country along religious and ethnic lines.
“We are aware of the fact that this recent campaign of calumny against is not unrelated to the ongoing linking of the National Identity Number (NIN), being issued by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to SIM cards owned by every Nigerian, so as to have an updated National Identity Database, and is being sponsored by cyber fraudsters and other criminal-minded individuals whose operations will be hampered by the success of the exercise.
“So, we call on Nigerians to focus on linking their NIN to their SIM cards, rather than focusing on attempts by criminals to link the Minister to poorly fabricated conspiracy theories.
“In this regard, we must continue to work together as Nigerians towards focusing on the issues that affect everyday Nigerian, as opposed to developing and spinning narratives that drive deeper wedges in the fabric of our very existence as a people.”