The minority caucus of the House of Representatives has insisted that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, should resign or be removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his continued stay in office poses great threat to “our national security.”
The caucus in a statement on Friday said it joined the demands of millions of Nigerians that the minister’s alleged links with global terrorist groups pose great danger to the country.
The federal lawmakers insisted that insecurity was blind to creed and party colourations and “this underscores why the Caucus will resist any attempt by anyone to politicise a clear existential threat to our motherland.”
Earlier, the spokesman for the House, Benjamin Kalu, had said the House was ready to hear a motion by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu on the need to suspend or sack the minister.
The Minority Caucus had also asked the Speaker to forward Elumelu’s position as as the resolution of the House to President Muhammadu Buhari.
While coming under matters of privilege at Wednesday’s plenary, Elumelu had called for resignation of the minister for alleged links to terrorist groups and past comments supporting terrorist groups.
In noting Elumelu’s position, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila had informed he was coming under a wrong order and failed to inform the House how Pantami’s alleged link breached his privilege.
The matter was again raised on the floor on Thursday with members expressing concerns about media report which they claimed misrepresented what transpired.
It had been reported Kalu said the House was prepared to hear Elumelu’s motion if properly presented.
In a statement by the spokesman for the caucus, Francis Ottah Agbo, the Minority Caucus dismissed the position of the House spokesman.
It insisted the motion by the Minority Leader was properly done in accordance with the rules of the House.
The statement reads partly: “We demand that Hon. Kalu should withdraw his statement and tender an unreserved apology to the Minority Leader and Nigerians for misrepresenting the rules of the House.
“Our caucus, standing with millions of Nigerians, also demands that the Speaker should immediately act on the prayers of the motion, by conveying the same as the position of the House to Mr. President, having accepted the appropriateness of the procedure and taken legislative note of the prayers therein.
“As a caucus, we stand behind the Minority Leader in insisting that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, should resign or be removed by President Muhammadu Buhari, as his continued stay in office poses great threat to our national security.
“Insecurity is blind to creed and party colourations and this underscores why the Caucus will resist any attempt by anyone to politicise a clear existential threat to our motherland.”
Saharareporters, New York