The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration position on reports linking Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, to terrorist groups, al-Qaida and Taliban, describing the presidency’s statement as hopeless defence and justification.
Aside from the presidency stance, the main opposition party also alleged that the rising acts of terrorism, kidnappings among others across the country were been emboldened by the presidency disposition on the rising insecurity challenges.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, maintained that the justification to provide official cover for the minister further confirms public and international apprehensions that the Buhari administration and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are patronizing acts of terrorism in Nigeria.
Through a statement on Friday, Ologbondiyan maintained that it was surprising that the administration could justify the actions of the exposed minister after he had already confessed to supporting terrorist groups like al-Qaida and Taliban.
According to him, it is instructive to note that this anti-people stance has heightened public anxiety that the Buhari Presidency is a haven for traitors who are providing support to acts of terrorist activities in our nation.
He added that the statement further explained why the Buhari Presidency has failed to decisively confront terrorism as well as why terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, and insurgents are emboldened to ravage Nigeria and kill at wills.
“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.
“Our party notes that if indeed, the Buhari Presidency has not found itself entangled, the least it ought to have done in the face of allegations against Pantami was to reassure Nigerians by first relieving Isa Pantami of his office and hand him over to the appropriate agency for deradicalization.
“The PDP asserts that it is pertinent to point out that Isa Pantami had initially denied his support to 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 PDP holds that Isa Pantami belongs to the deradicalization center and not in any way in the Federal Executive Council where he been alleged of compromising our national security as evinced in his initial denials.
“This is in addition to allegations in the public space that the exposed minister had been compromising our national data as well as the NIN registration exercise, wherein aliens and invaders from other countries were alleged to have been registered as our citizens. These are issues that our party insists must be investigated by the Department of State Services (DSS).
“As a party, the PDP charges President Muhammadu Buhari to reassure the citizens by immediately withdrawing the statement from his Presidency, relieve Isa Pantami of his position as minister and take a bold step to flush out terrorist apologists from the Presidency,” the statement read.