Six months after he accepted an offer as a Professor of Cybersecurity in the School of Information and Communication Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria’s terrorists-linked Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantam has yet to resume.
Pantami had in a letter to the university dated March 30, 2021 said he would be assuming duty on March 31, 2021.
“I wish to accept your offer as a Professor of Cybersecurity in the School of Information and Communication Technology, Federal University of Technology, Imo, Owerri State.
“This decision is sequel to my briefing to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday, 26th March, 2021 and his permission for me to go ahead and share my knowledge and experience in the academia, which is a form of community service to our citizens.
“Furthermore, I want to categorically state that I will serve as a Professor of Cybersecurity at the University (on CONUASS 11) 7 STEP1. However, I will serve voluntarily without receiving any payment, until further notice. I will assume duty tomorrow, 31 March, 2021.
“Whilst thanking you for the offer, please, accept the assurance of my highest esteemed regards,” Pantami’s letter to the university, dated March 30, 2021 had read.
However, six months after, Pantami has not shown up at the university as promised in his acceptance letter.
SaharaReporters had on Thursday exposed that the Minister accepted the role of Professor of Cybersecurity five months before the institution officially offered him the appointment on August 20, 2021.
FUTO and Pantami have both been under fire by Nigerians over the circumstances with which the minister was promoted to the highest academic rank in the institution.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it would investigate the controversial appointment.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also suspended Sunday Congo, its Gombe state caretaker chairman, for writing a congratulatory letter to Pantami.
The Minister had been in the news earlier in the year over his past call to Jihad and unalloyed support for murderous groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria,’’ Pantami was quoted as saying while 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 heard as 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 said 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, in glaring support for Pantami, dismissed the possibility of sacking the controversial Minister because he had allegedly apologised for his radical views.