The Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives has insisted that Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, should resign or be fired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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The caucus said Pantami’s continued stay in office poses great threat to national security.
In a statement on Friday, the caucus said it joined voices with those of millions of Nigerians, that the minister’s alleged links with global terrorist groups pose great danger to the country.
The lawmakers maintained that 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”.
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Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson for the house, had earlier during the plenary 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, Femi Gbajabiamila, to forward Elumelu’s position as the resolution of the house to 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.
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In noting Elumelu’s position, Gbajabiamila had informed that 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 that 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.
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It insisted the motion by the minority leader was properly done in accordance with the rules of the house.
“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.
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“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,” the statement read.
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