- The PDP has taken a stand on the claims linking Isa Pantami with insurgency
- In a message to President Buhari, the opposition party called for the minister's sack
- PDP's spokesman, Kola Ologbodiyan, also called on the DSS to look into allegations surrounding Pantami
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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami.
According to a press statement released by the PDP's national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbodiyan, on Sunday, April 18, the opposition party noted that the recent allegations surrounding Pantami are too sensitive to be taken for granted.
Ologbodiyan mentioned one of the claims to be that the minister has been accused of allowing aliens to take part in the National Identification Number (NIN) enrolment, thereby compromising the exercise and its goals.
Added to this, the PDP spokesman said that alleged and rumoured links between the embattled minister and terrorist groups is a recipe for serious concern.
Considering this, the party, therefore, called on the Department of State Service to quickly investigate the claims made against Pantami and discover the truth.
However, reacting to the PDP's call for Pantami's sack, a legal practitioner, Barrister Koko-Ete Essien who spoke with Legit.ng noted that a lacuna in the Nigerian constitution concerning the minister's removal from office places him at the mercy of the president.
"But in a nutshell...that's the lacuna in our constitution. The minister is at the mercy of the president.
"There is no provision in the constitution prescribing the procedure for the removal of a minister. I don't think there is.
"So there is provision for the appointment as you know but the constitution is silent in respect of their removal from office."
Meanwhile, Pantami had backtracked on some of the extreme views he held about terrorist groups including the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Some Nigerians had criticised the minister over the comments which were interpreted as endorsing the extremist sects.
But Pantami during a Ramadan lecture at the Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, April 17, said he made the controversial comments when he was young and inexperienced.
He told his audience that some of the comments he made then were uttered as far back as when he was a teenager.
The minister stated that some of his past utterances do not represent who he is at the moment.
“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity."