By Marie-Therese Nanlong
The leadership of the Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA has cautioned the federal government against protecting the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami but relieve him of his appointment if he fails to resign as failure to do so shows the President Muhammadu Buhari government is complicit in the divisive propaganda of dangerous elements of the society as well as the murderous activities of rampaging terrorists.
ECWA President, Rev. Stephen Panya while reading the communique issued at the end of the Church’s 68th General Church Council, GCC in Jos on Friday said the Minister should also be thoroughly investigated and, in the event, he is found guilty, be prosecuted in line with the laws of the nation.
He said among other things, “The Council observes the serious nature of the allegations levelled against the Nigeria’s current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, the verity of which allegations he has affirmed, but is quick to excuse himself, pleading immaturity and limited knowledge for his support for terrorism at the time.
“We join other well-meaning Nigerians and corporate citizens like Human Rights Writers’ Association (HURIWA), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to demand for his resignation as a member of the Federal Executive Council. Where he fails to resign voluntarily, we would expect President Buhari to relieve him of his ministerial position.
“We equally add our voice to the demand that the allegations against Dr. Pantami be thoroughly investigated by relevant security agencies and if indicted, he should be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant laws of the Federation.
“This will rekindle the faith of the citizenry in the Nigerian project and assure them that there are no sacred cows in Buhari’s cabinet. Failure to do that will make the Buhari government complicit in the divisive propaganda of dangerous elements of the society as well as the murderous activities of rampaging terrorists.”
The cleric added that “Furthermore, inaction on this might inadvertently imply that President Buhari prefers the enemies of the nation over its citizens and cares little about the sanctity of the constitution he swore to abide by.”
On the economy of the nation, the President noted “We observe with dismay the interminable flippant borrowing that has become characteristic of the present government of the Federation, without proper accountability for those already taken.
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“The Council questions the rationale for the continuous taking of loans despite the absence of any tangible evidence of the positive impact of previous loans on the socio-economic lives of the citizens.
“We therefore, call on government to focus on creating the enabling environment for adequate harnessing and effective utilization of available resources that God has endowed the nation with for wealth creation, instead of the quick resort to foreign loans, thereby mortgaging the future of many generations of our children.”
The Church called for the immediate release of 15 Village Heads and youth leaders detained without trial as well as the release of all people abducted by terrorists especially Leah Sharibu, Grace Lukas, Alice Loksha, Lilian Gyang, Pastor Lawrence Zongo, the remaining Chibok girls and the students from the various institutions.
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