By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, was mobbed on Monday, 23rd September, 2019.
The incident occurred at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano. The minister was in Kano for a condolence visit over the death of Ibrahim Liman Sharada, father of a member of the House of Representatives representing Kano Municipal, Shaaban Sharada when hoodlums of the Kwankwasiyyah movement began to boo him. One of the thugs even attempted to remove the minister’s cap.
Reacting to the ugly incident, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the attack as unruly, uncultured, puerile and barbaric. MURIC spoke through its leader, Professor Ishaq Akintola in a press statement issued on Monday, 30thSeptember, 2019.
“The harassment of Dr. Isa Ali Pantami at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport is repugnant, detestable and provocative. It is most unruly, highly uncultured, totally puerile and categorically barbaric. Nigeria should be above this. At 59, Nigerians still engage in bolekaja politics. It is a big shame. Our post-independence political culture is still characterised with violence, bitterness, intimidation and coercion. Our politics is laced with heavy doses of intolerance. Ours is politics of retrogression. It is unacceptable.
“We commend Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso for visiting the minister and for offering an apology for the excesses of his followers. Nonetheless, the fact that his political party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) is yet to show remorse leaves much to be desired.
“In saner climes, the political party would have issued a statement dissociating itself from any unethical behavior and apologizing for same. We therefore call on PDP Kano chapter to do the needful. Anything short of a public apology over this infantile and highly embarrassing incident is an assault on civilized political decorum. Nigeria must move from Stone Age political gangsterism.
“MURIC appeals to the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to take the incident with equanimity. APC Kano must manifest political maturity by resisting the temptation to revenge. The fact that Senator Kwankwaso has established rapour with the minister should serve as a soothing balm for members of the APC in Kano State.
“Dr. Ali Isa Pantami deserves tons of respect from every Nigerian. He is one of the few citizens who have engraved Nigeria’s name in letters of gold on the sands of time. His rich and intimidating curriculum vitae stands him out from the crowd of political shenanigans and opportunistic parasites. Nigeria desperately needs people like him. It is therefore a great disservice to maltreat such a cerebral gem.
“As we draw the curtain, we charge Nigerian politicians to shun thuggery and hooliganism. We must draw lessons from the incidents which led to military coups in the past. Politicians must remember that what goes round comes around. Respect begets respect but this golden rule will no longer apply if we allow the era of political violence to return.”