The five-man probe panel set up by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which launched an investigation into the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ibrahim Pantami, as a professor of CyberSecurity, has cleared the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, of any wrongdoing. ASUU affirmed that its investigation revealed that Pantami went through rigorous processes before his appointment as a professor of Cybersecurity.
Reacting to the development, an Islamic human rights group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), commended ASUU for ‘being objective in its investigation’.
In a statement by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC also cautioned against the ‘rising tide of anti-North and anti-Muslim sentiment among Southern elites’.
The statement reads:
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities yesterday issued a statement clearing the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, of any misdemeanour in the appointment of the Minister of Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Pantami, as a professor of CyberSecurity. This should rest the furore over the appointment.
“We knew ab initio that ethnic jingoism and tramadolised religiousity was at the bottom of the hullabaloo. Some elites in Southern Nigeria, are always eager to ethnicise and religionize any issue whenever it involves a Muslim. They have thrown objectivity, constructive criticism and meritocracy to the winds.
“Their avowed dogma is that nothing good can emanate from the North or from Muslims. Worse still, they are always prepared to rob the North and anyone who is a Muslim of any right, priviledge, entitlement or glory. They would have done worse if the appointment had come from a university based in the North.
“Equally noteworthy is the fact that no professor of Northern extraction was a member of the probe panel. There was also no single Muslim among them. ASUU did a clinical job. The five-man probe panel comprised Engr. Prof. M. S. Nwakaudu, chairman, Prof. G.A. Anyanwu, Prof. C. E. Orji, Prof. Mrs. O.P. Onyewuchi; and Prof. T. I. N. Ezejiofor as member and secretary.
“The report also added that Pantami’s application scaled six hurdles before it was ratified by the Governing Council while external assessors were engaged to examine the minister’s publications as required in such circumstances.
“MURIC invites all Nigerians to embrace tolerance, accommodation, cooperation and love. We must eschew ill will, bad faith and bad blood. Nigeria cannot move forward if one group is always trying to pull the other down. Every nation is like a bird that must fly in the air. But just as no bird can fly with only one wing, so does Nigeria need both wings (North and South) to enable it fly. Our greatness is in our diversity but we must be united in order to amplify and actualise our potentials.
“Once again, we congratulate the Honourabe Minister, Ali Isa Pantami, on his well merited appointment as Professor of CyberSecurity. We take pride in noting that the investigation of his professorial appointment by ASUU has not only added lustre to his professorial chair but also augmented splendour to his academic acumen. It is an unprecedented endorsement confirming that Professor Pantami satisfied all righteousness.
“Finally, we commend ASUU for its objectivity and professionalism in this investigation. We also give kudos to FUTO for exhibiting enviable vision, unrelenting courage and for championing due process. We charge other tertiary institutions to emulate FUTO by thinking outside the box to initiate new programmes and courses capable of facilitating Nigeria’s technological breakthrough.”