The past is never dead. It is not even past – William Faulkner.
Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, is a major-leaguer in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He is an Islamic fundamentalist gatekeeper. He is an advocate of millenarian Islamism who hawks inspiration to disaffected young and old Muslims to launch string of attacks on unbelievers and earn places in paradise with seven virgins. Pantami nihilistic propaganda against infidels and his right-wing Islamic jihadism has the support of his authoritarian boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s most unrepentant sectional leader.
Pantami, who, in earlier incarnation, went by nom de guerre Sheikh Ali Ibrahim, Shaykh Isa Ali Pantami, was a hate speech merchant, member of Al Shabab, lover of Salafist Islamic terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, ISIS and ISWAP. He was a sociopath who, like Dracula, used to love seeing the blood of infidels being drained through stabbing and dismemberment.
He was psychopathic and no doubt his incendiary Jihadist sermons may have been responsible for the demonisation and death of Christians in the past.
Since Nigeria has fallen disastrously into the hands of terrorists and bandits sympathiser, any wonder then why Buhari has been shutting down our universal cry to sack Pantami. We are ignored not because of what we say but because we oppose rabid Fulanisation of a secular entity called Nigeria. While Nigeria is on the verge of implosion under extreme Fulani Islamic cultural apparatus, nothing is offered to calm our collective fear for the coming whirlwind and implosion. Rather, Buhari has been deploying identitarian Fulani/Islamic political impunity to rebuff our olive branch for alternatives to breakdown, partition, and possible war.
Northern cultural institutions have been known to appropriate Islam for persecution, jihad, and political conquest/power. The force of Islamism has today leveraged the North from oligarchy to hegemony. The North’s Islamic cultural identification has been used as ideological war against the Southerners. Majority of us are being cancelled because of our opposition to Buhari’s obsession for a Caliphate nation.
It is therefore logical for a Jihadist ideologue like Pantami who embraces an undying allegiance to Islamic stratification that holds the infidels (Christians) in contempt, derision, oppression, and if need be, elimination to be a perfect Minister in Buhari’s Fulani administration. Pantami is kept in his position to be used to subvert our democracy using the shady-driven NIN data exercise that is already mired in ethnocentric controversy.
What with the faintheartedness and cuddly manner Buhari has been prosecuting the war on Boko Haram, banditry, Fulani kidnappers and Fulani herder’s terrorism across Nigeria? To date, Buhari has given amnesty to more than 6,000 Fulani terrorists and in the last 6 years more Nigerians have been displaced, more soldiers killed, and banditry has gone ahead to blight the travel, economic and social architecture of this country.
In a nation where Fulani supremacy now rules our politics, a dry-drunk Islamic fundamentalist sympathiser like Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, must have a voice. Increasingly, this chap has been infantilising the Abuja media high command with series of gaffes, missteps, somersaults, overzealousness, indefensible statements, and blind obduracy to reasoned engagement with the Nigerian shrinking intellectual spaces. Shehu has been going for both our jugular and capillaries each time we draw attention to his master’s transgression of the letter and spirit of our federalism through his rabid nepotism. Shehu has been offloading soundbites to cancel everybody out.
Today Aso Rock has become a crime scene where Isa Pantami, a hardcore terrorist sympathiser, is among the inner circle of the matador of Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari. And Shehu the expert gas lighter is out detonating attention-grabbing clutter straight from his warped mind. He is forever returning to that Orwellian way that seeks to erase or invert reality. On Pantami, he has demonstrated yet another staggering ignorance of the kind of enlightened audiences he serves.
To Shehu, Pantami’s travails may be a product of Southern jealousy and envy. In the era of post-truth, probably Southern pundits, columnists, writers, and conscientious Nigerians asking for Pantami’s removal are all victims of lethal ignorance of what to expect when a nation is captured by a Jihad-loving Fulani-in-Chief.
In other word, Shehu is reinforcing the canon through his defence of Pantami that Nigeria has entered an age in which thoughtful reasoning, informed judgments and critical thought must be attacked by the attack dogs surrounding Buhari – from the zealots inhabiting Miyatti Allah to the various ranks of rabble rousers called Northern elders’ associations.
For Shehu to regard all the critical voices calling for Pantami’s removal as nothing but “cancel campaign” shows the muck we are in and the ongoing moral opprobrium of Fulani exceptionalism when they are in public office. For the record, cancel culture is the practice of withdrawing support for (cancelling) public figures for saying or doing something objectionable, disgraceful, shaming, and offensive – whether in the past or present! Therefore, there is no conflation of interest between deplatforming and cancelling a person like Pantami who once engaged in controversial, hateful and martyrdom speeches.
Thinking Nigerians from David Hundeyin, Farooq Kperogi who happened to be Pantami’s buddy have given the Minister a fair trial in the public court and found him guilty. The general consensus is that it is morally indefensible and internationally damaging to have an ex-militant and extremist jihadist sympathiser sit on Nigeria data mining office as a Minster and drawing public salary from the contributions of Christians he once swore to kill. The same government that summarily cancelled Kemi Adeosun, Walter Onnoghen, Winifred Oyo-Ita and Obono Obla, not out of political correctness, but for political necessity, now finds itself developing cold feet in the case of a more worrisome moral conundrum.
It is Buhari who introduced right wing, nepotistic, Fulani Islamic politics with its regressive cultural apparatus that is the problem of this country. His speedy cancellation of the named Southerners above shows that there is no fair and open discourse on cancel culture in this country. Under Buhari’s sectional dictatorship, Southerners have been victims of termination, dismissal, erasure, and cancellations than Northerners.
Donning the mantle of a defender, Shehu said: “Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa 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 twenty years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to “cancel” him. But they will not profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.”
Shehu’s complaint about a “cancel campaign” could therefore be a pretext to deplore the indignity of anyone criticising Buhari’s failed leadership especially if the critics are Southern Nigerians.
It is shamefully obvious that Shehu is falling on herd immunity for Pantami. Shehu is completely consumed with great apprehension as the cancel mob are calling out Pantami to resign for the offensive religious messages he once authored.
Nigeria’s burgeoning cancel culture is growing partly because of people like Pantami who would rather grandstand on wobbly and self-justifying reasons of his continued relevance than exit with integrity and courage. A cancel campaign deals mainly and calls out those who have done wrong. Society cancels and erases a whole raft of ethical revulsions that fall short of acceptable public conduct whether committed in the past, now or the future.
In lionizing Pantami, Shehu ignores moral politics, offering instead a paranoid spin about how indispensable Pantami is. However, cancel culture believes in the expendability and discardability of human beings. Shehu condemns cancel culture because to him it is an assault on norms, privileges, and Fulani exceptionalism.
Cancel campaign is asking that morality, exemplary leadership, integrity, and honour should inform our politics and not duplicitous whitewash of untouchable St. Pantami whose blood curdling romance with terrorists in the past or now warrants this nation’s demand for his resignation, cancellation, erasure, sacking, termination, and summary dismissal.
In his Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner said: “The past is never dead. It is not even past. All of us labour in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity.” The historical fact that Pantami once abetted, supported, and encouraged terrorism martyrdom can never be erased from memory. So Pantami’s past is never dead. It is alive in the many toxic and highly inflammable Jihadist audios circulating on social media. It is Buhari’s primordial Fulani nepotism that merely shrinks back from denouncing a man of monstrous criminal history. Pantami should go. He should self-cancel today!