The outgoing week has been a one of ups and downs for the embattled Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Patami. The Minister has been accused of being a staunch supporter of terrorist groups including Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others. This was proved with the discovery of video evidence, which has since Friday trended in the social media.
In a viral video recorded many years ago which was later confirmed by the Minister’s lawyer, Michael Numa, the minister was seen engaging the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in a public debate, according to Punch reports.
Earlier, the Daily Independent Newspaper had reported that the minister had ties with Abu Quatada al Falasimi and other Al-Qaeda leaders that he revered and spoke glowingly of in several of his videos on YouTube.
Unfortunately, the Daily Independent was arm twisted into tendering an apology, claiming that their story was not well verified. But video evidence that has surfaced thereafter may prove the newspaper right.
Another medium, Peoples Gazette also said, Patami, an Islamic scholar once declared that he was always happy when infidels were massacred.
The medium said Pantami’s comments were contained in three audio recordings of his teachings in the 2000s, when he took extreme positions in support of the brutal exploits of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements who were on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world.
As a hardcore supporter, who may be a sponsor, Patami may have betrayed the collective bestowed on him by the Nigerian people, coupled with the sensitive position of the man in charge of communication in the country. Many has reasoned that Patami, if sincerely has links with these terror groups, is the reason for the coordinated onslaughts against both the military and civilian populace.
The weighty allegation should not be swept under the carpet by Muhammadu Buhari administration, but investigated, failure of which means they are accomplice to the fact on the ground. And while he is being investigated, common sense demands that he be relieved of his position as a minister and any other position he is occupying in trust for the people.
While it is not impossible that most people in government have sympathy for the deadly terror organisations, the ones that have been indicted should be stripped of all positions they occupy, prosecuted and jailed when found guilty.
We join the Nigeria public to demand explanation from Patami, and while at it be sacked, and be forbidden from ocupying any other public office