The suspended Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Gombe State chapter, Sunday Congo, said he has written his handover note as requested by the national body of the Christian association.
Congo was suspended by the national leadership of the association over a congratulatory letter addressed to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Isa Pantami, on his promotion to the rank of a professor of Cyber Security.
In reaction, Congo told Punch, “I’m going to do it (hand over) with immediate effect. I’m going to do it physically. I have written the letter but I want to go to the CAN centre and do an official handing over. I don’t know the time yet, I’m arranging with my close leaders but it will be tomorrow (Saturday).”
He added, “I want to reserve all comments for now.”
The viral letter partly read, “I have received a letter from the national office through the Chairman of the North East suspending me from office because I congratulated Minister Pantami. I receive the decision with all gratitude. In all things, the Bible says we should be thankful. God is my judge. I didn’t do that with any evil intention of spoiling the church. I am a child of God and I will never do such a thing. I, therefore, hand over the office today as instructed.”
However, there has been a delay as he has been unable to physically hand over the letter as he claimed to be out of town.
On Sunday, Congo revealed that he was required to hand over physically, aside from the viral handover note, which he termed as a draft.
He stressed that upon his return, he would hand over physically as required.
He said, “There are arrangements we are still making; I’m not in town, I’m outside town. So, I will be coming.”
The national leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria had last week suspended the caretaker chairman of its Gombe State chapter.
In a letter written by the association's secretary, Senior Apostle John Adedigba, on behalf of all the members of the caretaker committee, the body extolled Pantami for the feat describing him as a ‘son’.
Gombe CAN further claimed that Pantami had achieved a lot in his current position, stating that he had made them proud.
But on Thursday, SaharaReporters obtained a letter signed by the General Secretary of the association, Joseph Bade Daramola, which ordered the suspension of the Gombe Caretaker chairman.
The National leadership stated that the letter was written without authorisation and clearance, undermining the CAN National Executive Council Executive.
This comes amid allegations against the Minister of his involvement in terror-linked activities.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria,’’ Pantami was quoted as saying in one of his vicious preaching in the 2000s.
“Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” he was quoted to have also said.
In other audio clips that surfaced online, Pantami was also sympathetic to Boko Haram members when delivering sermons at several worship centres in the 2000s.
However, Pantami claimed he had renounced his radical comments and said his views had changed over time. He said he had in the past 15 years been traversing the country to preach against terrorism.
Despite the Minister’s claim, most Nigerians have noted that the minister ought to have resigned due to public backlash and be investigated by the authorities. Should he fail to resign, some commentators said he ought to be sacked by the President.
But the Presidency, showing support for Pantami, dismissed the possibility of sacking the controversial Minister because he had allegedly “apologised” for his radical views.