Trouble continues to mount for Isa Patami the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as the Presidency finally tables his matter and considers relieving him of his duty over alleged ties with terrorism.
Sheikh Isa Patami – full names – Isa Ali Ibrahim scaled through Senate’s screening to become Minister in 2019 after a supposed background checks by Nigeria Security Agencies like the Department of State Security – DSS, National Intelligence Agency NIA and the Nigeria Police failed to expose his alliance with dreaded terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda and Boko haram.
Isa Patami was seen expressing sympathy towards the terrorist groups in series of videos released online days back.
While the Minister maintained that some of his positions in the past had since changed following new information available, Nigerians have relentlessly called for his immediate sack and arrest as well as freezing of his accounts.
How Isa Patami Scaled Senate-Screening:
It is common knowledge that the Senate under Ahmed Lawan screened and cleared Patami before the Presidency eventually declared him Minister in 2019.
However, those involved in the screening process had revealed that there was little or nothing they could do since the committee had acted on information made available to it by the security agencies.
While the aforementioned may suffice there is also no ruling out the possibility that the federal lawmakers may have chosen to look the other way and not act on the security report available at the time.
Olwale Olaleye, a Deputy Editor at Thisday Newspapers supports the later argument.
In his opinion, Olaleye mentioned that the supposed revelations on Isa Patami may not be news to Nigeria Security Agencies. “Truth is, there’s nothing you’re reading about Pantami today – true or false – that the security agencies and their principals didn’t know before, during and after his appointment. They just wanted him there. Period! But for whatever reasons, I don’t know.
It’s also possible that the security agency saddled with the profiling task has learnt its lessons from the Ibrahim Magu experience, having learnt the hard way.
Need I remind you that the DSS wrote to say Magu was not suitable for appointment and based on that, the senate didn’t clear him?
Yet, the same fellow spent five years in office before he was unceremoniously removed, following reasons he was not cleared in the first place by the DSS and the Senate.
So, you expect the same DSS to, having studied the body language of the “oga at the top”, stop Pantami again? Haba, be reasonable too.
In fact, if you have studied the demeanour of the authorities since the development, you would know Pantami might get away with this”, Wale wrote.
How Patami’s Downfall Began:
Patami’s travails began after a Newspaper in Nigeria reported that America had included the troubled minister in its watch list following his ties with terrorists. The Minister fumed over the report and compelled the media house to quickly issue a public apology; however as at the time of his reaction, the said report had gone viral particularly on social media.
Further compounding Isa Patami’s problem also was the leak of a certain document on Wednesday indicting him in the death of Ibrahim Patrick Yakowa.
The highly confidential document further exposed Patami chairing a meeting in 2010 which the principal objective discussed was the assassination of the then governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa. According to the document, the alleged assassination plan would nip in bud the spread of Christianity in Northern Nigeria including the volatile state of Kaduna which is mainly dominated by Muslims.
Also in the minute of the meeting, a call for Jihad in Jos was mentioned with those in attendance wanting to contain the ‘nuisance’ of Christianity in Jos by fermenting trouble, among other issues.
…and more troubles for Patami
An academician, Professor Achi said that Pantami’s fatwa (Islamic Lecture) caused the death of his son, Stephen Achi in ABTU, 2004. He said the tract printed by his son was not blasphemous. And that those who killed his son dragged him into the school’s mosque where Pantami was chief Imam and strangulated him there in 2004.
After his death it took the intervention of the then governors of Bauchi and Kaduna states for his son’s corpse to be released to him.
In his reaction, Public Affairs Analyst, Dr. Ugo Egbujo opined that “apologies might be enough for Patami’s Al-Qaeda remarks, but not for Achi and not for a discussion about seeing Yakowa dead and definitely not for all the evil plans against Christianity contained in the minutes of that 2010 meeting.
Pantami has to address these issues. He has to consider if his continued presence in the government is helping or distracting the government”.
Most Nigerians declared that, should the document eventually turn out to be true, then it is a clear indication that Isa Patami is not only a religious extremist but a terrorist too. Not only that, for days now and counting, the following hashtags #sackpatami, #Patamimustgo and others have been trending on micro blogging platform, Twitter with countless persons calling for the immediate sack of the embattled Minister.
Although the Presidency is yet to make a public statement in an initial attempt to ignore the drama till it fizzles out naturally, E-nigeria! gathered that pressure from Nigerians and the international community; as well as the timing of the information leak is posing a huge challenge.
As at the time of filing this report, presidential sources who spoke to us confirmed that Patami’s case is currently being tabled with a majority of the President’s kitchen cabinet calling for immediate relieve of duty for the Minister to avoid dragging President Buhari’s already battered image into the mud.