The Muhammadu Buhari administration has declared its support for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, amid calls for his resignation or removal.
Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, made the position of the government known in a statement on Thursday.
“The administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services,” he said.
Pantami was widely criticised recently for the comments he made in the past in support of extremist groups.
The remarks he was said to have made many years ago sparked debate and controversy just recently, with many calling for his resignation while others called on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve him of his duties.
Subjected To A Cancel Campaign?
Although the embattled minister has since renounced his comments and said he was a changed person, it was not enough to calm the call for his removal.
In his reaction, Shehu claimed that Pantami was being subjected to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal.
According to him, such persons do not really care what he may or may not have said in the past because they will profit should the minister be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.
The President’s spokesman stated that Pantami had publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong and would not repeat them.
Despite the calls for his removal, the minister attended the virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari On Wednesday.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had told reporters at the end of the meeting that the issue of Pantami’s removal was not discussed.