Through her Instagram handle on Sunday, September 12, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's First Lady, sent a message to Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy, who had been bitterly criticised for an earlier remark on terrorism.
Aisha's remark which she captioned A Reminder was written Hausa after the minister reacted to a recitation from the Holy Quran with suppressed sobbing as he reminisced on the mindless killings in Nigerians.
Her simple message to Pantami read:
"Achire tsoro ayi abinda ya dace." Translated into English, it means: “Be courageous to do the right thing”.
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Some online media outfits have described the First Lady's advice as a taunt in a feat of hostility to Pantami.
The interpretation, it must be said, seems to be coloured by the organisations' opinions and not necessarily that of Aisha.
Moreover, since she did not say more than what is contained in the text in question, it is difficult and as such probably misleading to draw extreme conclusions about her intended meaning.
Echoing this position, BBC Pidgin through one of its publications on Monday, September 13, made available a rejoinder from the president's wife a few hours later.
In her statement, Aisha disclosed that she used Pantami's video to make a point about how doing the right thing without fear will lead to good results.
"Tafsir din Mallam akan tsoron Allah ba tsoron mutum ba.
"Da aka cire tsoro da son kai a ka shiga Zamfara abubuwa sun fara kyaw, sai a dage a shiga sauran wajaje haka."
"Mallam's Tafsir on the fear of God is not the fear of man. Once the fear and selfishness have been removed and Zamfara has started to improve, we will insist on going elsewhere."
At least her explanation has put to rest the controversy that erupted from a harmless expression of concern over the worrisome state of security in the country.
Pantami wins most outstanding minister of the year award
Meanwhile, Pantami had bagged the most outstanding minister of the year 2021 award presented by Elite Exclusive magazine.
The organisers said the minister of communications and digital economy was singled out for the honour based on an online poll it conducted.
The award according to the magazine was in recognition of the exceptional role the minister is playing in sustaining ICT exponential growth, digitization of Nigeria's emerging economy and also positioning Nigeria’s digital economy sector on the path of sustainable national development.