Between Minister Pantami And Sahara Reporters

By Maiwada Dammallam

Denying the fact that some people are desperately after the reputation of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Sheikh Isa Ali Pantami, is to deny the obvious. In recent days he’s the most popular story in the social and conventional media. If he’s not doing an everyday job of blocking retards on his social media pages for taking advantage of his simplicity to wound his reputation, he will be busy somewhere in the imagination Sahara Reporters buying houses in Abuja. When added up, all these will make Sheikh Pantami the most reliable evidence that occupying a public service is now the biggest sin in Nigeria thanks to the unprofessionalism of predatory media outlets like Sahara Reporters and hatchet writers surviving on the reputation of innocent people and the gullibility of most Nigerians.

The story by Sahara Reporters this time is about Sheikh Pantami “buying 3 houses for his wives in Abuja.” As usual, the story is based entirely on the fertile imagination of Sahara Reporters, of course, an imagination fueled by the determination of SR to take its pound of flesh on this administration by inflicting as much harm as possible for its real and imaginary sins against Sahara Reporters. Interestingly, despite its “investigative prowess” Sahara Reporters left its gullible readers with nothing to work and confirm the story but the imagination of its editorial board. Not a single document or even a credible verbal evidence to substantiate the story.

Unexpectedly, the office of the Minister responded to the allegation with a terse statement thus: “For the purpose of setting the records straight, the honourable minister has not purchased a single property anywhere in the world in the period he has been in office as a minister.”

Although SR was “magnanimous” to publish the response of Minister Pantami, it still couldn’t resist the urge to feast on his reputation. Rather than disprove his claim about not buying any house in Nigeria or elsewhere since he became a Minister, Sahara Reporters skillfully avoided any attempt to substantiate its silly allegation and jump into another round of speculation. At the end of the 2nd report SR wrote thus: “However, the minister’s defence appears to have caused more damage as Nigerians on various social media platforms continue to condemn his double standard of pretending to be a saint when he is not one.”

With abundance of space to do so, Sahara Reporters made no effort to publish the response of the Nigerians it claimed condemned on various social media forums a so called Sheikh Pantami’s double standard of pretending to be a saint when he is not one. In any case, how’s owning a house in Abuja or elsewhere a proof of being corrupt and evidence of one not being saintly? Was King Solomon not affluent and a prophet? Wonder why Sahara Reporters is so addicted to wearing its thinking cap facing backwards.

And as if that’s not enough foolishness to last one a lifetime, SR conscripted a hatchet writer with a very primitive sense of public engagement who’s yet to learn that globally the burden of proof is on the accuser rather than the accused. In a piece titled “Minister Isa Pantami Abuja Houses And The Lies Used To Cover Mores Lies (sic) which was published by SR clearly not for its quality but for the malicious contents, Mashood Musbau came out shooting aimlessly and expectedly hitting nothing. In Musbau’s reversed world, it’s Sheikh Pantami that’s suppose to reel out proofs to disprove SR instead of SR substantiating it’s allegations with credible proof(s).

Not done trying to exhaust Nigeria’s reserve of stupidity, Musbau wrote: “He (Pantami) claimed he was a business man, state the business he was doing, did he sell dates from Saudi Arabia or what? Well, I’m not in a position to say if Sheikh Pantami ever told this doofus his sources of income but I can say authoritatively Shiekh Pantami has never been in the business of selling dates from Saudi Arabia. However, I’m aware he’s a professor in one of the most prestigious and best paying universities in the world where doofuses like Musbau could spend a lifetime trying to pass entrance exams if the contents of his piece are truly a reflection of his intellectual make-up.

Nigeria is so complacent that anybody could go to USA and register and online magazine largely the reason of destroying hard earned reputations either for political or pecuniary benefits. Even at this stage when the administration of President Trump is almost on its knees you won’t find Sahara Reporters flippantly attacking the integrity of government officials. Just like Kperogi, SR will rather ignore the logs under their American noses to preach about a fleck in far away Nigeria. This is how it will remain until the day we decide to get serious about insurgents and bandits in the media business.