A Civil Society Organisation, the Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative (TADI), on Tuesday, has weighed in on the recent controversy about the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, saying that the development could adversely impact the country.
In a statement by its Executive Director, Mr. Yomi David on Tuesday in Abuja, Organisation said that the attacks on the Minister were capable of disrupting efforts by the ministry toward achieving a safe national data bank for the country.
David described the allegation against the minister as a campaign of calumny aimed at tarnishing his image just as he noted that there were unproved foreign intelligence report alleging that Pantami had supported Al Qaeda, Taliban terrorist groups, hence Boko-Haram.
“We in TADI have related closely with the Minister even when he served in various government agencies which he headed and performed creditably well in the interest of peace, safety and development of Nigeria.
“We find it worthy to march in solidarity and beseech the intelligence group to disassociate itself from relics of chauvinism.
“These distractions are aimed at delaying our nation’s smooth progress to having accurate data,” he said.
He said further that Pantami is a national asset and a target on him might have emanated from criminal elements both at home or in the Diaspora.
“The allegations emanated from the collaboration of criminal elements affected by the ongoing compulsory linking of National Identification Number to Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards to mobile networks.
David noted that they were plans to frustrate his dexterous attempts and programmes to institutionalise a safe data bank aimed at addressing security challenges of our country with accurate database.
He added that the minister had initiated pragmatic and proactive measures toward curbing the trends of digital malfunctioning and insecure census system.
David also called on the international community to disregard such campaign of calumny aimed at tarnishing the image of the Minister.
He warned the actors to desist from such malicious attacks on the minister in the nation’s interest.