Between Pantami and his critics

Minister Pantami

I had always tried to unsharpen my sword against people that are so called enemies of progress not only to their fellow humans but to our dear county, Nigeria.

This decision to all right thinking citizenry can be regarded as apt and a welcome to whoever belongs to any among the two practiced religions in Nigeria for peace to continue to reign especially now that the country is faced with attempted cessation and banditry to overheat the polity. 

At a time, this year there were lots of criticisms, political blackmail and envy against the young talented Islamic cleric and first Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami. Pantami is a rare gem the country has ever had in its 61 years existence after weaning off from the colonial masters, but is being blackmailed all in the name of injecting a saturated pollution into a clean ocean to change its natural colour and taste which is impossible except by the Creator. 

Surprisingly, one of the previous contending issues I read in one of the dailies with the title Pantami and Buhari: Between Faith and Fame. If not for the purpose of making reference as it was written by a person of the same educational standing with the minister and equally of same Islamic religion, I intended to keep mute because in my writing career I do not quote a stale item to avoid turning back the hands of time. This, according to divergent views, is just like fighting the same faith by birds of a feather. 

I was opportune to meet the ICT wizard at the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi during his final year while I was in year one. My first encounter was through the Juma’at sermon he observed in both English and Arabic languages with good oratory, phonetical sound and sence of responsibility despite his young age at the old university’s ummah Mosque near the V.C’s office. 

Perhaps, as a breed from the Fulani who are naturally gifted of the likes of Prof. Jibrin Aminu from the Mathematical aspect, I was carried away and swept over by his preaching on whether he is a northerner or otherwise? Until I was dished with insight on his calibre before wiping out my misconception and finally ruled that he is a great asset not only to the versity, or Nigeria but the global community not knowing it was a dream come true. 

For the sake of those in doubt of Prof. Pantami’s recent elevation to the apex educational level, they seem to be weighing the success from the rear view thereby undermining his academic records and international reputation in the global technological circle. Without apology, the international community is in dire need to own him permanently so that his fatherland would no longer benefit which in turn can result to a great loss to the socio-economic potential of the country over driven by his professionalism and commitment. 

Born on the October 29,1972 to the family of Hajiya Amina Umar Aliyu and Alhaji Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the 49-year-old minister for Communications and Digital Economy bagged a B.Tech in computer science from ATBU after which he proceeded for masters degrees, MSC computer science and MBA in technology management, at the same institution and with a result that is of extra shinning example to others. 

As a dream for every academic don to be realised is to reach the peak, the on the spot tears shading Islamic cleric due to his inbuilt human sympathy started his career as graduate assistant in ATBU where he rose to the rank of senior lecturer and proceeded to Robert Gordon University Aberdeen Scotland for his PhD in computer information systems before leaving for a Saudi Arabian university where he rose to the rank of associate professor and recently promoted to the rank of professor due to his academic contributions to our younger generation as knowledge seekers who can step into his shoes in future by the Governing Council of Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo state. 

The groom on the final academic line also has certificates in Digital Transformation from Harvard, Digital Strategy from both Massachusetts Institute of Management Development Lausanne, Switzerland, Strategic Leadership from Oxford University and certificate in Management from Cambridge University in addition to his expertise in conflict resolution with national and international recognition. 

Among the professional and registered bodies that the ATBU alumnus and his employee is proud to have membership with are; Fellow British Computer Society FBCS with membership number BCS 990650788, Fellow Cyber Security Group of British Computers Society, to mention but a few. 

Prof. Pantami who is also a Global IT citizen (bestowed on him by the fellow of the Nigerian and British Computer Societies) had also recorded a milestone on the lives of others even before attaining his current position by providing employment opportunities to many of his students who are now well established in life and in fact helping others. 

On the issue of 160 academic articles published by the intellectual argued by others, I challenge any critic to believe in the saying of Allah that whoever memorises the HOLY QUR’AN on earth, no quantum of western knowledge could pose a set back to his entire life. Period and nothing more nothing less.

Just as some people tend to hide under pretense, Prof. Pantami’s factor as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should not be seen as political even though it is in a democratic dispensation. By this I mean in any kind of government be it military or civilian there exist people of proven integrity, technocrat, or cleric which is more often whom can be bulldozed as a tool for sanitizing the system of government to achieve desired goals. 

Luckily, after the number one citizen of the country PMB who is not after material gains next to him is a pastor, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo more of a comrade too and Sheikh Isa Ali Pantami should not be looked with an eye of the witchcraft simply because he is serving the nation with the best of his ability. So we must wait for our time to hear how others will equally judge us by our antecedents.

Interestingly, the computer wizard had facilitated an increased growth in the ICT sector to 14.70 percent making it the best performing sector of the economy that exited Nigeria from the global recession during the fourth quarter of 2020. In fact, it was four times higher than the agricultural sector being second with growth rate of 3.42 percent.

Before exhausting the remaining ink of my pen, there is need to categorically mention his achievements towards national development while he was the DG NITDA to include: significant local content policy enforcement on the N-Power social investment scheme of the FG that yielded a fruitful result in three months not forgetting youths in their hundreds that were trained on ICT related field and entrepreneurship for self-reliance. 

At this juncture, permit me to join other patriotic Nigerians in congratulating the honourable minister for a ministry that is first of its kind in Nigeria’s history, for the measurement on the academic yard stick which must have added value and unity of purpose to his career and image of our country. Indeed as a scholar, be remembered that no success is achieved without  criticism and sabotage especially in the Nigerian context. So be happy to be in their midst, Prof Pantami.

Adamu Yalwa Gabi,


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