Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to President, has lamented that the way killings are being reported under the Muhammadu Buhari administration is like it had never happened before.
Garba Shehu explained that killings had been in existence forever and President Buhari seems to be a target in the way it is being reported now.
Speaking on Channels’ Politics Today, the spokesman, who also answered questions on the ongoing controversy surrounding the embattled Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, said that those who “stand in criticism of the minister are not willing to forgive him.”
Garba Shehu, reacting to comparison of Pantami’s case to alleged forgery that consumed former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said the cases are different and opined that the latter was more critical than the terrorism accusation against Pantami.
He also stated that if Pantami forged a certificate before coming to office, the attitude from the Presidency would have been different.
— Channels Television (@channelstv) April 23, 2021
The Presidency has been hit with heavy criticisms following the backing of Pantami in the midst of terrorism comments, which the minister said were utterances made in ignorantly, stating that he is now more mature and knows better.
A statement signed by Garba Shehu said: “The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.”
The Presidency noted what it said was an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.
The statement added: “This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it.
“The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is, currently, subject to a ‘cancel campaign’ instigated by those who seek his removal. They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to “cancel” him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.
“The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.
“In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.
“But all discerning Nigerians know this manufactured dispute is nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words, but solely concern his actions in the present.”