The Isa Ali Pantami controversy makes it hard to ignore the current developments in Nigerian politics.
I actually pulled back from commenting on Nigerian politics because it seemed so futile.
The same problems and no solution in sight.
We complain and we complain. We even graduated to hashtags and trending pertinent issues. But what has the outcome been? It is like Nigeria is slowly rolling down a hill and no stone we can throw at it can halt the descent.
So for my personal sanity, I pulled back from the shenanigans in Nigerian politics commentary and found a safe niche in relationship matters.
But Nigeria is like a nagging cough in the chest. You cannot keep it in. You have to find a cure and, in the meantime, that cough will come out involuntarily. So, of course, you have a major guess as to the matter that is making me cough out loud.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami was unearthed to have made statements in support of global terrorists groups; such as Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
Guys, I listened to some of his sermons in Hausa and I have to say I found them troublesome. I grew up and was educated in the North. Unfortunately, this means that extreme religious rhetoric is not new to me. I cannot count the number of times we have heard sermons calling non-Muslims as heretics and infidels.
I once spoke about my personal experience as a student of A.T.B.U. (Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi) on my Facebook page. This was maybe in the month of February.
I narrated a story that made me vow that none of my kids would school in the Northern part of Nigeria.
The Facebook post is as follows;
Listening to Sheik Gunmi and just laughing.
It is like listening to firebrand Imams in the North that keep especially the poor so brainwashed that Christians will perpetually be their enemies.
It is nothing new.
It is the mind-set of the average Northerner.
I don’t even take the educated ones seriously. Shebi we schooled with them in Bauchi. The day a religious riot broke out on campus, wasn’t it our classmates and even Muslim boyfriends that came to the hostel at night with scimitars, shouting “Allah Akbar”.
That evening, the school was tense because of SUG elections. It was looking good for a non-Muslim. The election was disrupted. Once it was evening, we started seeing the Hausa/Fulani Muslim girls leaving the hostel accommodation in droves with their kaya.
We Christians, Yoruba and Kogi Muslims were just watching like feem.
I made the choice to leave with a few friends. One whose father was a military man. I waded through soakaway with my shredded bottom jeans.
My friend did not leave.
Na so dem cry till commissioner of police arrived at 1am. The Muslim boys surrounded that hostel. A handful of Christian boys stood in front.
You can get in but only if you kill us.
They kept screaming “Allah Akbar” but luckily, no one had the courage to strike the first blow.
By morning, a circular came out. We all left school.
We came back months later to sit in the classrooms with the same people.
But I was different.
I swore my kids would never school in the North.
I know exactly where I stand and who I trust.
This is why I don’t speak nicely about the situation in Nigeria.
I will never say ” don’t malign an ethnicity in this crisis. Only certain criminals are guilty”.
Yes, but these criminals have support like wildfire.
Gunmi is saying, don’t kill fellow Muslims, they are innocent. Go for Christian soldiers.
No be today.
The hatred has been fuelled since Danfodio.
Are we not watching them coddle terrorists, forgive them and pay them? Saying bandits are not criminals. Doing speeches with PA systems.
“Don’t kill us. We are not the ones causing mayhem. Do the Muslim soldiers kill you?”
They know the addresses of these terrorists.
They know who they are.
Imagine. Just imagine Southerners attempt this shit. You will know government can act.
I am so effing irritated by people that live in the South that speak naively.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the killing in the South is re-educating everyone. I remember writing how organised the North can be when it comes to strategic forethought.
Then naive Jos people did not know. When pushing people to NDA, a list of 10 will have eight Hausa/Fulani people. No Berom, no Ngas, no Pyem, no Jarawa, no Challa, no Irigwe etc. etc.
It will keep getting harder to get non-Northern military leaders.
Enter Customs and see.
The Northern leaders with their hapless loyal foot soldiers know what they are doing.
But I pity the foot soldiers. In the whole of Nigeria, they are the most straffed….no vaseline.
So, Pantami is not a surprise to me. Ironically, he was also at A.T.B.U at some point.
His statements of the past are not in the past for many Muslims in the North who have heard such sermons all the lives.
If educated people carry fiery religious rhetoric like this, it’s no wonder that terrorism is alive and well. How much more the poor who already feel disgruntled because they are disenfranchised, and they are also lacking in exposure to understand that life really doesn’t have to be filled with so much hatred.
Isa Pantami has since renounced his position, claiming youthfulness (doubtful to me because I learnt he was in ATBU in 2004. That was well into his 30s)
But he remains a dangerous individual. Is he renouncing this so that he can preserve his career and not carry the international taint of a terrorist apologist?
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Whatever be the case, how can we expect such an individual to truly have a nationalistic stance in his approach in administering his duties on a federal platform?
He should resign or be fired for many reasons.
One of which is so that the people that look up to him can be circumspect in their utterances. So they understand there are consequences in making unguarded statements. So they see that extremism will not yield favourable results.
The North has been devastated because of religious extremism. Those that watered the seeds of hatred and discord must not be rewarded by being given positions of authority in this country. They should be pariahs.
But my people, let us watch and see what President Buhari will do.