We were taught right from our days at the elementary and primary schools in the ’70s, when equity, fairness and integrity at least, towered higher than everything else in our country that what is good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER.

In those days, truth was sacrosanct, government at all levels as organized by civil servants and politricians (political magicians) alike were run with strict sense of some sensibilities, self worth and self respect. If you were caught stealing or seen to be corrupt or as a terrorist or coupis. It means you are an enemy of the State, the accused and his/her entire families would be publicly shamed and the guilt really would feel some sense of remorsefulness!

But ALAS in Nigeria of the 1990s and beyond, we seem to have totally lost it. It really got worse during the Babangida and Abacha era.

While we were still blaming the military for inept corruption, nepotism and opendential stealing of our commonwealth, we suddenly realized that the emerging civilians and self-professed democrats were anti-democratic and unpatriotic having unquenchable love for self and self-aggrandisement at the expense of national interest. This anti-national interest tendencies was legendary and would readily brake world records!

We have all watched with keen interest the news from far away United States of America, more so, from the US Government itself and the revealing past deeds of our Minister and Sheikh Isa Ali Pantami — the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy over the last thirty (30) years in public life. We are inundated with so much ugly and controversial stories, unrepudiated by him, so much to the extent that we have lost count.

Some of us just kept wondering how such personality escaped (despite all security reports from DSS, NSA and the likes before confirmation) our national psychic and consciousness to become a Minister of the Federal Republic, a member of the Federal Executive Council (“FEC”) and sadly, the Chief Custodian of BIG DATA of all Nigerians (NCC, NIN, BVN and the likes). Reading that such a personality is pro-terrorist, pro-banditry, pro-Alqaeda, terrorist sympathiser and indeed a religious bigot, having issued FATWA leading to killing of innocent Nigerians is enough for all Nigerians to be on the street asking him to RESIGN FORTHWITH.

Isa Pantami’s refusal to either resign and/or forced to resign by the Presidency is worrisome after all these OPEN revelations. It is more worrisome, when the Presidential Spokeman — Garba Shehu issued a Press Statement to the effect that Isa Pantami has apologized and that he committed these heinous offences when he was a BOY or did I hear KID?… This is totally incredible and unacceptable to millions of Nigerians who have and are now suffering from Pantami’s alleged contraptions, support for terrorists and caused thousands to be killed, kidnapped, displaced and raped by his actions and that of his cohorts. Someone wrote that Minister Isa Pantami would have been rounded up immediately and charged for treasonable felony and would have been forced to resign or would have by now been handed to the International Criminal Court in the Hague for crime against humanity, if he was from Igboho in Osun State or from Umuahia in Abia State. In fact, the DSS would have shouted “Blue Murder” and he would be in their custody by now.

Nigerians still recalled the story in the online newspaper — Premium Times of July 7, 2018, when the news broke that the then Minister of Finance — Kemi Adeosun provided as part of her credentials, an NYSC discharged certificate which was later on found to be forged or illegally procured. We were reliably informed that Kemi pressured the powers-that-be through his godfathers in this same Buhari Government so that she would be allowed to continue as the Minister of Finance. News filtered through both the traditional and social media that the then National Security Adviser — Late Abba Kyari and the President Muhammadu Buhari in the spirit of openness and transparency requested Kemi to resign forthwith (September 14, 2018) due to that “little” infraction which she also committed as “a KID”. Remember, neither Garba Shehu nor Femi Adeshina — both Presidential Spoke persons came out with a Press Statements at that time to defend Mrs Kemi Adeosun!

Has there been policy change in the Presidency between 2018 and 2021 over ministerial infractions and presidential forgiveness? Maybe Garba Shehu, Femi Adeshina or our Alhaji Lai Mohammed — the Minister of Information should be asked to shed more light on this policy shift and that must be provided to the Nigerian people. I read Garba Shehu saying we should allow Isa Pantami to continue with his good works to Nigerians in the areas of providing better communication and IT services to the nation. Kemi Adeosun at that time too was working assiduously on the Medium Term National Economic Strategy. I remembered meeting her one-on-one at that time working on possibilities of our Group funding Trans-national corporations, that were in dire straits to finance some of their major projects through sub-national debt initiatives.

Kemi Adeosun’s infraction per NYSC certificate forgery did not injure any Nigerian, kill any Nigerian or cause or promote thousands to be displaced, kidnapped, killed or raped as the Childish infractions of Minister Isa Pantami. Nigerians of all ethnicity or race, rich or poor, male or female and high or low should ask Garba Shehu and indeed our President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, whose infraction is more deadlier for our nation? Kemi’s offence was not tried in any court of law neither would Isa’s be so tried; but truth must be told that Pantami’s sponsorship of terrorism and religious uprising including Boko Haram sponsorship has cost the Federal and State Governments and indeed private businesses billions of Naira in the Insecurity and loss of life of the innocent citizens in the Northern States and indeed in Nigeria as a whole.

Please join me to declare it loud and clear, louder than the voices of reasoning, even louder than the voice of Hajia Aisha Yesufu and others, that what is good for the GOOSE is good for the GANDER; and what is GOOD for ADEOSUN is equally GOOD for PANTAMI… so that the Rule of Law, fairness and justice will prevail in our Country.

May God guide our leaders aright and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Dr. Israel Ovirih, a financial and public Analyst, wrote this piece from East Africa



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Dr. Israel Ovirih

Dr. Israel Ovirih

Dr. Israel Ovirih is Lagos-based investment banker, serial entrepreneur and tech-evangelist. He can be contacted vide Israel.ovirih@banklinkafrica.com