The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has expressed discomfort with some documents in circulation linking the embattled Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, with the death of a former governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa.
In a statement, Revd Hayab, who was a former Special Adviser on Religious Affairs to Governor Yakowa, said he had noted the grievous revelations against the minister, but was alarmed by the dangerous turns of events, especially with the release of some documents linking the embattled minister and the Muslim community with the death of Sir Yakowa.
He said the Church and Yakowa’s family consider the allegation and the statements credited to Pantami in the past as circulated in audios and videos released on social media very serious, but that “society’s discomforts and disagreements should, however, not be enough reasons for us to approve the circulation of phony and injurious statements against any perceived foe.”
“We are aware that in this age of technological advancements, we have to take any allegations with a pinch of salt until we are confident of the authenticity of the source.
“Sensitive documents like the ones purported to be from the JNI meeting in Bauchi should be subjected to thorough security investigation and trials, not tools for social media warfare,” he said.
Revd Hayab stressed that there is a need for circumspection and care “so that we do not throw our communities into further chaos in the rush to hang one man.”
Pantami has lately been under fire on account of his statements and preachings in the past which showed his unabashed support and sympathy for al-Qaida jihadist ideology.
The statement read further: “When Sir Yakowa died in an air crash, there was no inquiry to determine the cause of his death, aside from the immediate and likely technical fault leading to the helicopter crash. We, the Christian community and indeed his immediate family acknowledged the tragedy, submitting to the will of God Almighty.
“For that purpose, there is no point, now or later, to open up what will not bring back our leader and father but rather open up old wounds in a very controversial manner.”
He therefore advised those “with axe to grind with Pantami” to do so “within their limits,” adding that as a church leader, he believes that justice is natural and all will live to account before the Lord.
Hayab then called on all Nigerians to ignore the insinuations linking Pantami with Yakowa’s death, and in the process endangering national peace.
He also enjoined security agencies to step in and tame the circulation of such “dangerous documents.”