#Nigeria #Politics #Pantami #Kashifu
As a nation, it has been in our DNA to always go after our best hands when they show themselves using the ‘Pull Him Down’ syndrome but this cannot continue forever because some of us are here to put facts right for the purpose of posterity and our nations progress. No nation has grown without capable hands and for the sake of our children and those yet unborn, capable people should be protected as much as our mineral resources, that’s how important they are.
There has been some fake news going round in the social media regarding Dr Isa Pantami’s link with terrorist organizations and I find that most unfortunate especially when I see the caliber of individuals who share such unfounded story that is neither coming officially from the United States nor reported by any credible media outfit. The only likely thing one can relate to such is the work of spin doctors for some sinister purposes or albeit political purposes. I choose to align more with the latter.
You may recall that we had been highlighting the Digital Agenda as the best political option for the 2023 and beyond and naturally it has been well received by the citizenry to the extent that Dr Isa Pantami has emerged as the most suitable choice for the Vice Presidency of the country owing to the need for returning power back to the south for national unity and cohesion purposes. Since we had been advertising the matter as political participation agenda, we will also be unrealistic to not expect the such of smear campaigns even though this particular one went crude and showcased a people who lack tact and strategy.
How can a man who was the only cleric in the nation that had an open debate against the Boko Haram beliefs with late Muhammad Yusuf now have ties with same man. The videos of such debate is a public property on YouTube since the propagators of the lies are supposedly internet savvy, they should have known about it, perhaps. It was even on the account of his opposition to the sect that he had to relocate to the United Kingdom to further his education up to the Doctorate Degree level. Would someone align with Education is a Sin mentality and also choose to go and pursue education up to that height? Cheap lies indeed have short life span.
Furthermore, the propagators are supposedly respecters of the United Kingdom and the United States and do they in their very cheap thoughts think the UK would have harbored a man with the imaginary ties they described in their domain for several years and even awarded him a doctorate degree from the prestigious Robert Gordon University? Why must politics remain cheap in this country? The Digital Agenda thinks way bigger than that and that’s why it has become so intimidating to attract such big lies but guess what? It has just been punctured.
The ties between Dr Pantami and the United States is also public knowledge trough his alliances with the MIT in Massachusetts and the Harvard University also. Or do the spin doctors think America would also allow who they described obtain such prestigious certificates without vetting and identification. In fact, the US regards Pantami in very high esteem.
Again, before Dr Pantami was appointed the DG of NITDA and subsequently a Minister of the Republic, security vetting is conducted by Nigeria’s security apparatchik so where do you place all that. It is so easy to be like or better that Pantami and all you have to do is obtain appropriate education and skill. That way you will need less of spin doctors and propaganda but concentrate more on strategy and track records.
As for Dr Pantami, he has been tested and trusted and he is only going to continue to run on his records!
May God Bless Nigeria
The outing at the GITEX, 2020 in Dubai showcased clearly how much Pantami had been much ready for leadership and is simply showcasing it without stress. He looked the part, the show was classy and you had a semblance of a nation that was ready to communicate with the world as far as digital concerns are the matters.
One thing you can give to Pantami and could help you understand his person better is the fact that he understands the importance of media in all his activities. Let me tell you for free that America is as progressive as it is because of the greatness of their media, no one can know about what you’re doing no matter how great if you don’t showcase it to them. This also demonstrates an ability to recognize the importance of all sections of the society which is an important attribute of leadership.
You cannot help but come across the giant strides that are daily becoming realities. Everyone would be proud sharing such stories because they fit for real progressive strides. You would want to beam a searchlight on such a personality and equally disseminate it as a way of contributing to mentorship in the society, a virtue that we possess in the negative.
Some of us have since identified that with the appropriate appointment of capable individuals as well as respect for excellence, the job of fixing Nigeria was a very easy one because Nigeria has more than enough to advertise to the world, the only needed thing was for the people of the world to see seriousness, purpose and capacity. Pantami has used his appearances at international fora to showcase a renewed zeal and capacity for businesses and idea sharing with regards to the development of the digital policies of Nigeria that he superintends.
I watched with interest how the 2020 version of GITEX, Dubai finally gave a reason why every reasonable Nigerian youth would take Pantami and put him right in front for the purpose of future leadership. There was pump in the Nigeria’s stand, there was activities around the Startup Pavilions, there was pageantry that looked the part. It was simply a show of a serious nation that was ready to mingle among the world big players in the ICT Ecosystem.
Something worthy of note is the fact that Nigeria is the largest black nation on earth and as such every global event they attend, they are simply representing the black race and Nigeria did wonderfully well in blending and looking the part. We engaged, contributed to the topics discussed and by the leader of the delegation himself as well as other speakers.
There was some good investments in dollars that is coming in, there was a powerful meeting with the Dubai Silicon Oasis and there was clear seriousness and respect on the parts of the participants.
Such are the kinds of activities that could attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment that was capable of placing the country on the path of critical growth, one which will provide employment opportunities to countless people. China is what it is today due to the patronage of the world. We need as much as can be attracted. Kudos Dr Pantami.
We have always insisted there must be conversations around our intent for growth and such conversation can only become meaningful with prospects when stories and strategies like those of Pantami are shared as case studies. The work we need does not need magic, it only takes knowledge and strategy. It needs work and more work to be put in and we need sustainability. Pantami has been running since he assumed office as DG, NITDA and even after the accumulation of more work, the energy looks good as ever.
This should encourage us to forge a front with a view to crystallizing to make the country we wish for ourselves. We have to identify the people with the KnowHow and give them responsibilities because it’s sure going to be a progressive outcome.
The discussion about Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence was the catch for me in the 2020 GITEX because they are the bedrock of commercial digitization. It affords nations and ventures to maximize revenue and its money you need to do every other endeavor. Nations and business need more money and money and such can only come through investments that were capable of remotely engaging a high number of individuals who can spend on it. Such investments are ICT, the telecom and data industry can never go broke because even in whatever situation, there would always be need for communication and data.
Kudos to Dr Pantami!
THE DIGITAL AGENDA AS A MIRROR IMAGE OF THE IDEAL POLITICAL IDEOLOGY FOR 2023 AND BEYOND By Hashim Suleiman
The recent events of the country have showcased clearly how the digital age is a pretty difficult one to manage. Many thanks to the very much information that is out there and can be assessed by a simple sign up. This has also indicated how much challenging the task before President Buhari has been and how his successor must be a proven digital savvy individual in order that there can be a transition between war against indiscipline and corruption and a need to get the buy-in of the young Nigerians and their quick and digital expectations. This I’m sure resonates with what any reasonable youths wants to see going forward.
It has not been a secret especially for those who follow up with me that I had since thrown up the #DigitalAgenda23, a cause which presents Dr Isa Ali Pantami, the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as being worthy of piloting the affairs of the nation by being Buhari’s successor or at least being a Vice to a southern candidate should the argument for rotational presidency become fruitful. I had highlighted his political suitability in my November 4, 2019 article titled ‘Isa Ali Pantami as Near Perfect Fit for 2023 permutations’ and which can be found here https://opinion.premiumtimesng.com/2019/11/04/isa-ali-pantami-as-near-perfect-fit-for-the-2023-permutations-by-hashim-suleiman/.
In today’s piece however, I am highlighting his technical competence at looking the part with regards to the needed ideology for the kind of leadership required to solve the much problems that have been clearly understood now and that President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to solve by first allowing a democratic identification of them and initiating many policies that would attempt to solve them but this surely requires someone who would consolidate on them and that person has to be digitally inclined thus our initiation of the #DigitalAgenda23.
For every society that truly wishes to progress, there has to be deliberate effort at employing visionary and critical thinking in the analysis of issues and the possible way forward and this has to be employed devoid of emotions and sentiments. For some of us who have always had interest in the public space for over 6 years now, we can say categorically that we understood the current happenings of the country to be related to the young people’s hunger of seeing one of theirs attain leadership status so there can be familiar conversations. What some of them don’t understand however is that nations go through processes of evolution and those processes have to always be appreciated too. President Buhari is the nexus between those stages and we do understand that now is the time for a digital political ideology even though that also has to be done with caution because power is usually negotiated for and not to be snatched.
Furthermore, even before the current protests and agitations, some of us have known and identified the need for a digital transition but found it hard to find an icon that could champion such until the coming of Dr Isa Ali Pantami as DG, NITDA when we noticed that a man had emerged who looked the part owing to his age, education, moral uprightness and digital awareness. We put him under the radar and observed him until he vindicated us by working hard enough to merit a ministerial position where he on assumption to duty immediately hit the ground running as is typical with the expectation of a digital mind. He immediately reengineered the ministry to conform to the expectations of a society that truly requires transformation into a 21st century one. At this point we birthed the #DigitalAgenda23 and it was high time every right thinking Nigerian young person keys into it and equally flies with it.
At the last count, Dr Pantami had commissioned over 500 digital economy projects around the country in about 4 years and appeared more than willing to do much more. Again there had been about 68,000 individuals who had been trained to acquire digital skills. The man then capped up all these with his willingness to identify young visionaries and catapult them to stardom as in the case of the cerebral 40 year old Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi whom succeeded Dr Pantami as the DG of NITDA. You can clearly see how he is willing to create and expand a sort of dynasty of young men who he will not stop at ensuring they achieve much more technically and politically. While Dr Pantami has merited the leadership of the National Digital Agenda come 2023, the expectation is for his dynasty members to look to see to their emergence in different leadership cadres be it legislature or State executives.
Finally, I am using this medium to congratulate the Nigerian youths who now appear hungry for leadership and incidentally have one of them who has distinguished himself for the task and this leaves the only hurdle to be a proper mobilization of the youth constituency with a view to accepting the leadership of Dr Pantami as the driver of such movement. The agenda is however subject to engagements and conversations going forward and we are very much open to it. We shall soon open the conversation up and we encourage every youth who regard themselves as fit and worthy of leadership to present themselves so we can all form a formidable team for the actualization of a progressive digital Nigeria through #DigitalAgenda23.
A new Nigeria has birthed!
So on the faithful Thursday being 24th September, 2020, we set out for the journey to katsina to witness the wedding of Bashir Ahmad and Naeema Junaid Bindawa and it was a journey I will not forget in a hurry. We passed through the state of kaduna through Zaria before landing in katsina at about 6:00 pm, a journey which started around 8:00am of same day. Thanks to the convoy of so many friends and well wishers and the associated slowness in movement and stoppages.
I, Usman Muhammad Ismail and Usman Turaki were in our car and we had several conversations that was capable of improving IQ and awareness. We passed through some of the towns that have been touted to be part of the insecurity problems in Katsina state and the presence of the thick forests by the sides of the road could make one understand such terrains better. Farming activities were however very much on course with almost all the stretches bearing green crops less for the built up areas. This was impressive and more comforting than the much negative and very hyped stories you hear that present a sort of an Armageddon situation.
We then arrived to the very serene city that was filled with quiet and peace but hot because of the season we are in. We settled in and set out for the traditional event of ‘Kamu’ where the pageantry of the event started to showcase itself, the bride and groom looked awesome while friends from both sides turned up appropriately with no disappointments, this was expected considering the caliber of the couple. There was meet and greet and celebrations until it was time to go and have some rest in preparation for the main day being Friday 24th September, 2020 when the wedding Fatiha proper will take place.
By the way, we had received the news of the arrival of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami alongside the GMD of NNPC and his main ally DG, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. They were due to arrive Friday afternoon to witness the wedding and everyone was indicating interest to receive them at the airport just so they can have a wave or glance at the Honorable Minister. This got me keen to observe the entire process of the ministers coming knowing fully well that weddings are usually political arenas in this climes and you all perhaps may remember my past analysis about PANTAMI’S political potentials.
The day has come and we’re off to the airport to pick up the Honorable Minister and his entourage alongside the groom of-course. The display of the white garments with matching caps was so colorful I have not seen in a while. Camera clicks became the prominent sounds at the airport and the groom appeared so elated as expected. The cars that came for this activity were uncountable to me and everyone was simply waiting and eager to witness the arrival of the Honorable Minister with his entourage. While waiting a different aircraft landed carrying the Honorable Minister of Defence alongside Garba Shehu and Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed. There was greetings between them and the grooms crew before they left and attention resumed to awaiting arrival of the fathers of the day being Dr Pantami and crew.
Shortly after, behold the arrival of the aircraft carrying the man we had all been waiting for and all roads led to the tarmac to receive the Honorable Minster and crew as they alighted from the aircraft. The place immediately got agog with attempts to grab a selfie or two with the Dr. I have witnessed several encounters with celebrities like Davido and I can tell about how the buzz could look like and what I saw was much more than that you can trust me. There was competition over who to grab a selfie or greet and as usual Pantami was busy displaying his elegance and smile as he waved.
The long convoy of aides, fans and well wishers then proceeded to the Government House in Katsina for courtesy call before finally arriving at the wedding venue and my mouth was wide open in surprise for how the whole crowd got Gaga on sighting the arrival of the Sheikh. Pantami and entourage proceeded directly into the mosque for the Jumaat Prayers after which the wedding took place and Bashir and Naaemah have finally become Man and Wife, Congratulations to them.
Once the wedding Fatiha was over and it was time to depart, I couldn’t stop looking with amazement at how the crowd was all over Sheikh Pantami which even got the security details overwhelmed and if this is not a very much needed political capital, what could ever be.
Scenarios like these require to be put out at a such a time when the APC requires so much political capital for the actualization of their aspirations. Nigeria’s democracy has advanced as much that political capital such as Dr Pantami’s is golden and must be showcased with a view to attracting us all to utilize it for national and political party development. What makes his case peculiar is his intellect and demonstrated capacity.
Finally, congratulations to Bashir Ahmad for attracting such very important personalities at the event and also creating an avenue for bonding and friendships. Dr Isa Pantami has become a leader who attracts credible followers which are mostly youthful with so much energy, loyalty and intellect to cap it. The entire team is a formidable one that is capable to becoming something worthy of admiration in times to come.
Happy Married Life Bashir and Naeema.
People will wonder why I have based more of my research on an individual but that is what you get when you have developed yourself into a critical character that is capable of attracting critically loyal fans. I have had to make do with individuals who only identify with progress when it emanates from them alone; I have however come to terms with those being part of growth especially in an African community like Nigeria.
Dr Isa Ali Pantami has built himself to become more of an institution that is capable of attracting loyalty and understanding from all walks of life. Such can only be seen by people who can first of all be fair to themselves before becoming fair to others and their virtues. That is why we continue to preach for people to learn to develop critical thinking in order that we can appreciate the good things that happen to our society.
Lately, I have been stumbling over videos on the social space wherein Dr Isa Ali Pantami’s political opinions of the past years are being brought up albeit with an intent of mischief and ridicule. What the cheap blackmailers failed to recognize is that Dr Isa Ali Pantami has an unalienable right as citizen to a political opinion at every point in time, all of also have same right.
Furthermore, all of the videos I have seen are those of an opinion on a political party that the entirety of Nigerians have agreed were a failure at one point or another including those who are spreading the mischief be it former governors, ministers or senators. It is still fresh in our memories how the entire Nigerians rejected a sitting government that was seeking another term, why then would anyone have issues with someone who had an opinion that eventually culminated into everyone’s opinion in the nation. We are still asking people to learn to be serious please.
Again, this is a man who had never joined the political party he had an opinion about and other people who have had to switch political associations and opinions on multiple occasions are the ones sponsoring the cheap blackmail that as usual lacks any sort of tact and strategy. Perhaps, the only time Dr Isa Ali Pantami had to join the political block was when he was invited to serve in a professional and technocratic capacity to a CHANGE government and even at that he never stayed away from continuing with his calling of scholarly activities at his spare times. This showcases someone who has maintained a high level of consistency, why then the attempt to ridicule such a character, the attempt only smacks of mischief from lowly individuals.
Why should our leaders’ take pride in transferring mischievous character to our younger population? Why can’t we tow the path of the likes of Dr Isa Ali Pantami by providing morals to the upcoming ones by way of sermons and teachings or by way of mentorship and motivational speeches? Our politics must not continue to be archaic in reliance on cheap blackmail and empty shenanigans. We have all had our political opinions at one point or another and there has never been anything wrong with it. Serial cross-carpets have contested and won elections in Nigeria, why then should the political opinion of Dr Pantami become an issue?
We have everyday clamored for the emergence of a break from the normal politicians but it appears that when such people arrive, we equally don’t have what it takes to identify them. This is why some of us have kept complaining about the lack of mentors in our society, those who will mentor the young ones to have a critical thought that is sufficient for discernment. Dr Isa Pantami has practically been providing that over the years and it has been responsible for the increasing numbers in young northern youths who are hungry to succeed like Dr Pantami or even better. He always answers Ameen to such prayers on his social media handles.
It is pertinent to point out the fact that Dr Isa Ali Pantami is the headmaster of the new breed politicians in Nigeria owing to his age, mentality and orientation which includes his desire to see to mentorship and empowerment of mentees like his right hand and competent prodigy Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi (DG/CEO, NITDA). Little wonder why his first step as a minister was renaming his ministry to align with the globally acceptable mandates. Obviously, such a break away from the norm will not come without misunderstandings and resistance and he knows that very well, however, he requires all the support and encouragement from like minds as the transition from CHANGE to NEXT LEVEL and their consolidation is a very critical one for our dear nation and we must not take it lightly.
Considering the boldness Dr Isa Pantami had and is employing in trying to deviate from norm and bring about positive attitude to work in his area of supervision, some of us have become motivated by them and volunteered to walk with him in the attainment of such goals during the current journey and beyond. It was such motivation that inspired my November article of his suitability for either the Presidency or Vice Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2023 depending on how the power negotiations and permutations turn out. We should not miss out on this opportunity for consolidation on the gains that character and integrity have brought upon us.
And for those who keep sharing political opinion as a tool for blackmail, it is time for them to be notified that going forward, the politics and democracy of Nigeria is going to continue to develop to the point that only critical strategy, character and performance will ensure patronage as against cheap blackmail over things that the accusers are more guilty about. There is going to be more critical engagements and people are going to run on their records of integrity, character and how consistent they have been. This is the reason Dr Isa Pantami has been working hard to increase digital penetration across the nooks and crannies of the nation, let everyone have access to information and be enlightened enough to differentiate between deceitful and serious leaders.
The youths of our nation are encouraged to take a break and have a deep thought over their actions. For how long are they going to allow themselves to be used as tools for sowing discord and spread of fake news? Everyone deserves a good and decent life and that is only achievable through the emergence of critical leaders in the likes of Dr Isa Ali Pantami, we should embrace him. Perhaps, it was the absence of such that made him express his opinion in the past and he was later vindicated through the dismissal of that political entity during the 2015 elections.
Nations of the world are daily struggling to consolidate digitalization; we cannot be struggling to daily be debating normal things like political opinions. Any political party that wishes not be criticized should be above board in character and integrity if not some of their actions can be as annoying as anything to people who have genuine love for country at heart.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.