Pantami: Sahara Reporters And Their Usual Lies, By Mubarak Umar

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It is not shameful for Sahara Reporters to publicly disgraced journalism and journalists in the profession. As Michael Radutzky said, “Stories that are false, have enormous traction in the culture, and are consumed by millions of people,” and this is one of Sahara Reporters’ core values in the last couple of years.

To say that Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, a revered Islamic scholar, who in the last 20 years spent his time bringing prestige to Nigeria and Nigerians globally, bought three houses somewhere in Abuja and handed them to his wives is laughable, a satanic blether that should be condemned and ignored by any right thinking person.

The assertion is false and aimed at damaging the international reputation of Dr Pantami. To set the record straight, the Honourable Minister, in person of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, do not owned the purported houses as Sahara Reporters wants Nigerians to believe.

Fake News has been a major challenge in Nigeria’s democracy since Sahara Reporters emergence as one of the leading online media; probably they grabbed their armory from the 1st Century BC, when Octovian ran a campaign of misinformation against his rival Mark Antony, portraying him as drunkard, womanizer, and a puppet of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra VVI. He published a document purporting to be Mark Antony’s will, which claimed that Mark Antony, upon his death, wished to be entombed in the mausoleum of the Ptolemaic pharaohs. Though the documents were forged, but it invoked outrage from the Roman populace. Mark Antony ultimately killed himself after his defeat in the Battle of Actium upon hearing false rumors propagated by Cleopatra herself claiming that she had committed suicide.

These and many other incidences have resulted to loss of reputations of great men, and this is what medium like Sahara Reporters wants to achieve by their continuous cheap blackmail and intimidation to bring Dr Pantami down and distract him from doing what he knows best, serving his motherland.

As popular as Sahara Reporters is, they deliberately stood on ground to continue publishing fake news with intent to mislead and damage people that are known with integrity, using sensationalist, dishonest, and outright fabricated headlines to increase readership.

It is glaring that the medium has since detached itself from currently realities, turning a blind eye on the achievements recorded by Dr Pantami when he was Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and his subsequent appointment as Minister of Communications, a ministry he is working hard to bring it to limelight, consequently by renaming it to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, and as well, altered its mandate to suit President Muhammadu Buhari’s dream of diversifying Nigeria’s Economy.

Sahara Reporters have never, in anyway reported single achievements by this gentle and humble man of the people, as he is fondly being called, but in many times are nimble to divulge news in order to catch cruise. Their habitual news of click bait is unfolding day by day.

Nonetheless, their constant abuse of journalism and journalists will not distract Dr Pantami from his journey to promise land, especially in making Nigeria one of the countries generating revenues through Information Technology. His outstanding performance as a Minister will never be overemphasized, as he set to make Nigeria a leading country in Digital Economy.

This is not first, and likely may not be the last, where Sahara Reporters vehemently unleashed their weapons to tarnish his image. In the month of March, 2020, this same medium reported that the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, received one billion naira from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on the orders of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the lie that has already been debunked by the agency and until writing this piece, Sahara are yet to provide to Nigerians evidence of such transaction.

In a saner society, disgruntle Sahara lacks journalistic ethic to cook such story, especially on someone whose outstanding professionalism and integrity earned him the highest recognition in the global IT industry: The Fellowship of the British Computer Society (FBCS).

Nigerians are living witnesses to testify on what Dr Pantami, the Honourable Minister, is doing. He realigned the Ministry and its work schedule, encouraged mutual support and shared goals, cooperation and provided workplace synergy among its Parastatals.

Dr Pantami has become steering wheel in leading Federal Government of Nigeria on strategic implementation of programmes aimed at diversifying the economy. Oil and gas can no longer be dependent upon because countries around the world, especially the developed ones, are switching to digitalization in almost all their means of activities, including transportation.

Dr Pantami’s unprecedented achievements in ensuring that Nigeria lifts itself to reach the required level in the Global Information Technology Development Index can never be overemphasized. He is leading a rescue mission of Nigeria’s migration from natural resource economy to ICT-based economy. As true Nigerians, it is our collective responsibility to boycott any medium trying to distract the Minister; we must not let that happen.


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