Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, a journalist who exposed Kemi Adeosun, former finance minister of forging her academic credentials is being attacked by Nigerians on social media.
Mrs Adeosun resigned her position two months after her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate was reportedly forged.
Mr Abdulaziz who was with Premium Times when he published the story but now with Daily Trust irked Nigerians on Thursday when he attempted to exonerate Minister Isa Pantami who allegedly has ties with terrorists groups.
Mr Pantami who was falsely reported of being placed under the watch-list of the United States has his past deeds hunting him currently. As an Islamic cleric, he declared support for foreign based terrorist groups and also condemned the killing of Boko Haram extremists who have now threatened to eliminate him.
He also expressed satisfaction at the unending killing of Christians largely described as unbelievers in the Islamic world and accepted political appointments despite berating his colleagues who did so in time past.
Nigerians are demanding his removal from office as a result of these revelations. A civil society group, Concerned Nigerians, has already written to the United States, urging the foreign country to investigate and probably place the minister on its terrorism watch-list.
Reacting to the development, Abdulaziz advised Nigerians not to judge Pantami using his past saying most Nigerians will find themselves in similar situation if their past were dug out to judge their present.
“On @DrIsaPantami: Yes, public officers deserve all the scrutiny. But while we’re at it we’ve to be thorough, fair & nuanced,” the reporter said on Twitter. “Yes, we can dig the past but passing judgement would have to alongside context and current realities. A lot of people have had a severed past.”
“We all have a past. Not everyone will escape if our past actions and speeches are used against our present positions. Opinions and stands do change in the face of new knowledge or facts, or even maturity. And being progressive, other than dogmatic is whole mark of great minds,” he added.
In response, Nigerians who questioned why he dug out the past of the former minister to judge her lambasted him, saying he is ethnically bias because Pantami hails from the North like himself.
Below are few of the reactions this reporter picked.
“When you exposed former minister of finance Kemi Adeosun’s past it was thorough, fair and nuanced. Now your uncle is in the eye of the storm you are turning on your head. All this yeye journalist, journalist for some spokesman for others. #Shame,” Jelly Bean tweeting on @schmel_zer said.
“You’re even more dangerous & more hypocritical than the unqualified dangerous Salafist nutjob in charge of communications in Nigeria,” said another tweep, @jimmy2time.
“In the grand scheme of things, one has to wonder if you took down Adeosun for no other reason than being a tribalistic pig. Because how do you equate clear support for terrorism to forgery and think being a terror sympathizer is nothing, How?” @Ayo_Phenom queried.
“His past indeed, you know this how? Did he tell you his beliefs has changed or you just concluded? Let him come out and defend himself. The people he influenced are still out there misbehaving, doing what they think is right.
@DrIsaPantami did you tell him to defend you?” @MzMaryammm asked.
“I don’t want an extremist as my Minister and handling my NIN HE SHOULD RESIGN ! Past or Present does not preclude this is a public office,” @MichaelPneazy added.