The Muhammadu Buhari-led presidency has backed the embattled Communication and Digital Economy Minister, Mallam Isa Pantami, saying he is a victim of a well orchestrated, calumny campaign only instigated to tarnish his reputation and have him removed from office.
This was contained in a statement issued by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle @GarShehu, saying the Nigerian public are culpable in making leaders at various level of leadership forever liable for every statement they might have made in the past, irrespective of how long it might have been and/or whether they have later denounced them; calling it an ugly trend that has to stop.
In his word, he tweets:
this insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it.
The presidency noted further that the Communication and Digital Economy Minister is currently a subject of “cancel” campaign instigated by those who merely seek his removal from office.
The President’s spokesman insinuated that the campaigner against the personality of the Minister do not ordinarily care what he may or may not have said two decades ago, but are now merely turning the table to finish him at all cost, all because he has refused to stop making decisions that improve the lives of every Nigerians.
Shehu noted that the Minister has, rightly, apologized for all what he said in the early 2000s, saying the views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them.
The President’s spokesman said:
In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.
Shehu added that the Minister might have become a victim of media attack partly because he has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing, stating further that he has also “revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money; among several other achievements of his.