Why Nigerians should also be blamed over Pantami’s confirmation as minister: APC Rep

Yusuf Gagdi [Photo: Facebook].

Yusuf Gagdi, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives, says Nigerians should also be blamed over the confirmation of embattled Isa Pantami as minister.

Mr Pantami who in the past expressed extremist views but have now renounced them is been asked to step down from office. Most Nigerians are wondering how he scaled screening at the red chamber despite his past extremist views recently unearthed by the media.

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The 9th National Assembly, particularly the Senate, often referred to as rubber stamp by critics and the State Security Service (SSS) are being blamed for failing to dig out the history of the embattled Digital Economy and Communications chief.

Traditionally the secret police which self-styled itself Department of State Services (DSS) is saddled with the responsibility of scrutinizing federal appointees’ antecedents before the upper legislative chamber confirms them and the recent development, according to critics, shows the duo failed woefully in their line of duties.

But pushing back the blame, the All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmaker, representing Pankshin/Kanam/Kanke federal constituency in Plateau State, said Nigerians ought to share from the blame.

He said this is because no one approached the lawmaking arm in 2019 when the embattled minister was appointed into his current position, revealing to it the extremist views of the former director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

“The announcement was made (about Mr Pantami’s ministerial nomination). The man (Mr Pantami) was presented to the floor of the Senate. He was screened, and no individual out of over 180 million Nigerians was able to remember that comment made to write a petition to the NASS for them to act or not to act,” Gagdi argued while fielding questions from journalists during his appearance on a programme of the lower chamber’s Press Corps, ‘Hot Seat.’

“So, if NASS should be held responsible, or the DSS, the people of this country, should equally be held responsible because they were unable to do their job by bringing the information to the NASS.

“The NASS and DSS are not God. You will never get every information about every individual during confirmation.

“So, it is when the DSS knows that they recommended, and it is equally what the NASS saw that they recommended. If you want to hold DSS and NASS responsible, what of you as an individual?” he queried.

The lawmaker however said for the embattled minister to go, the president has the final say and not the parliament.

“The prerogative of appointment and removal is vested solely on Mr President. So, it is left for the executive arm of government. The information has come. I learnt also that the man has apologised. If it is true that the information is there and the man apologised, it is not within my own power as a parliament to say go or not go,” he added.

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