The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), has said it should not be dragged into the controversy surrounding Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.
The NSGF claimed that a shadowy group is planning to engage in a smear campaign against it as well as its chairman and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.
Lalong, in a statement signed by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Simon Macham, stated that the group has concluded plans to carry out the act by printing and circulating posters to the effect that the forum is supporting Pantami over comments he made in the past supporting extremism.
According to the NSGF chairman, “the uncovered plan shows that those behind the propaganda publication have political interests” and are bent on dragging the northern governors into the controversy by widely circulating the posters on social media and pasting same across the country with the view to tarnishing the image of the body and its members.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the forum wishes to state that it has no intention of being dragged into the matter as the minister [Pantami] has provided his response to the issue which does not need the validation or denial of the forum. The forum is not responsible for his personal or official conduct and utterances at anytime.”
There was an outcry in the country recently, after Pantami admitted that he had made statements showing sympathy for Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the past.
However, The Presidency released a statement pledging support for the minister.