One of the most charismatic Ministers in Buhari’s administration, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami has been receiving massive accolades for his outstanding performances from sincere citizens, as well as blind criticisms from blackmailing traducers for ulterior motives.
Few months ago, they mounted aggressive media campaigns against him over claim of alleged support of ideologies of insurgents over a decade ago. The Minister defended himself and explained he was one of the Islamic scholars that have consistently attacked the ideologies of Boko Haram.
Videos and audios of Boko Haram leaders threatening the life of Pantami emerged but that too could not dissuade critics from their insinuations. The footages show how Pantami challenged slain Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf in a hot debate. Another was the threat by terrorist leader, Abubakar Shekau to eliminate the Minister.
It is, therefore, not surprising that when Pantami is about to clock second year in office, the sponsored critics thought they could distract him and Nigerians by reinventing another campaign of calumny.
This did not stop the Minister from reeling out achievements of the Ministry and agencies in the last two years, including the collective generation of nearly N1.05 trillion.
Pantami disclosed the huge revenue during the 12th batch of virtual commissioning of eight projects by his Ministry and agencies.
“The Ministry and its parastatals generated over N1 trillion for the Federal Government in less than two years, this translates to an average of about N44 billion every month, or N1.4 billion every day.
“The IT Projects Clearance Programme also saved over N5 billion for the Federal Government. I urge them to redouble their efforts in ensuring that we keep up the good work of developing Nigeria’s digital economy,” he said.
The Minister also revealed that a total of 1,667 ICT projects have been completed while 455 others are ongoing across the country. In line with general approach for locating projects, they are situated in all the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Some of the projects he commissioned virtually were Emergency Communications Centre (ECC), Makurdi, Benue state (North Central); Virtual Examination Centre, College of Education, Argungu, Kebbi state (North West); E-Accessibility Centre, Alderstown Schools for the Deaf, Warri, Delta state (South South); E-Health/Data Sharing Project, Leko Abdulrahman Hospital, Daura, Katsina state (North West);
Others were Digital Economy Centre & E-Learning Facilities, Ogba Grammar Shool, Lagos state (South West); Digital Economy Centre & E-Learning Facilities, St. Paul Secondary School, Eke, Enugu state (South East); Digital Economy Centre & E-Learning Facilities, Federal Character Commission, Abuja (North Central); and E-Accessibility Centre, Bauchi state; Orphans and Vulnerable Children School, Bauchi state (North East).
These were apart from others commissioned last year. My advice to Pantami on the antics of his traducers and blackmailers is to ignore them.
As an IT guru and scholar of repute, he should realise that their actions expose religious irredendism and hatred for his faith and the section of the country he comes from. Just recently, some mocked the great prophet of Islam in their attempt to ridicule Pantami.
Though the bigoted and eccentric traducers seem to be faceless, they are not unknown going by digital footprints and the patrons of their platforms.
If they were used to scandalise former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and even incumbent Muhammadu Buhari, why should Pantami feel offended?
Pantami should focus on his national assignment which has enormous presidential endorsements and the support of Nigerian citizens who are beneficiaries of the digital economy.
Adnan Mukhtar writes from Kofar Famfo, Kano.