Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmad Gumi says Nigerians will regret if embattled communications minister Isa Pantami is removed from office.
Mr Pantami whose past pro-terrorist views were recently unearthed has been asked to resign but the presidency took sides with him, saying having renounced the radical remarks, the minister has repented and should be allowed to continue in office.
Despite that, Nigerians have continued to demand the removal of the communications chief, saying he was unfit to head an agency with sensitive data of citizens.
Reacting while appearing on Roots TV, the cleric, who has been a go-between between bandits ravaging Northern Nigeria and state actors, said characters like the minister were needed in power, adding that Nigerians will regret if Pantami is ousted from office.
“You should get more people like Pantami and put them in power. Don’t remove him. You’ll regret,” Mr Gumi warned while describing the embattled minister as a nation builder.
“Show me, one person, he has killed? He has not killed anybody. He has not ordered the killing of anybody. The man is stabilising a government among a section of youth which we want them to come and join in nation-building,” he added.
The cleric’s assertion however appears to contradict available facts. Media reports indicated that in 2004, a fatwa for the killing of Samuel Achi, a 400L student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi was issued under the authority of Mr Pantami as the Chief Imam of the university’s mosque.