Sahara Reporters and Pantami’s Right to a Million Self-sponsored Vacations
By Hashim Suleiman
We should have known by now that there are lots of opportunists in every sector of our country, with some in the media utilizing the docility and vulnerability of Nigerians to churn out information that usually pitches citizens against their leaders to the extent that the narrative has now become more of a leader having to wear rags and torn clothes around before he is seen to have integrity.
I and my wife were in Marrakech, Morocco, recently, and we searched for Nigerian food or place to change naira to Moroccan Dirhams and we could not find any.
This is contrary to Dubai where you will find so much of such and I told her it was a result of Nigerians’ very poor mindset regarding vacations because I’m not sure there could be anywhere in the world that could beat Marrakech as a wonderful vacation destination, little wonder why you have Europeans trooping in and out in droves with so many of them opting to splash millions of euros to buy off houses in the Medina city centers of Morocco.
I made the above illustration to buttress how much Nigerians do not value vacations and to them every vacation has to be a show of opulence and wealth when in truth with as low as one million Naira, one could enjoy a vacation with family in as close a place as Accra or Mombasa as long as you’re conversant with how to plan vacations.
I keep telling people that my salary is more than enough for me to embark on a vacation as long as I plan it well, its not rocket science, vacations are essential for one’s sanity.
Coming down to the crux of this piece, where Sahara Reporters had resorted to their usual cheap propaganda on the lifestyle and person of Prof Isa Ali Pantami, one would have chosen to ignore the not very trendy news, but it’s essential to set out the real narrative for posterity sake.
They had accused the Prof of numerous travels against President Buhari’s directive without sharing with us the details of each travel regarding on whether they were all official or some personal of which I am sure Pantami’s earnings are more than enough to embark on some if necessary to him.
Furthermore, the publisher of the story may not have had enough depth in terms of universal knowledge to know that in Islamic polygamy, there was a need for fairness amongst family.
For instance, if I make an official journey with wife A,B or C, it was only incumbent on me to schedule others on some other trips which could again be official or personal depending on the circumstances and personal leadership plans on how to run the home.
Let the publisher of that story calm down and understand it is alright to grab vacations with personal funds, he can even approach me for coaching on how to utilize his own earnings to enjoy some beautiful vacation.
They also attempted to paint Prof Pantami with affiliation to candidate Atiku, but that too is not new because some section of the society have also painted same brush on Buhari to the extent that Garba Shehu had to comment on it. Other than Buhari, so many other cabinet members of Buhari’s administration are rumored to be sympathetic to Atiku but one can only consider that to be ‘tea seller joint conversation’.
What the publisher did not however speak of or never spoke about was the fact that Prof Pantami had last week visited the site of the construction of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center which was awarded in 2020 at a contract sum never awarded for such a gigantic project in Nigeria as well as beating a year ahead of its scheduled completion.
If this is not unprecedented in the likes of leadership character we want in Nigeria, what could ever be? There is no time to highlight the economic contribution of that project and many others in his sector to the general economy of the country nor speak about the short and long term contributions the center will make to the development of ICT skills in Nigeria. History will certainly be kind to Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
If we don’t kill hypocrisy and slander in our country, it has the tendency of killing us because we are trying so hard to insist everyone in our nation must be bad regardless of how much they give in to the society in the midst of their allowable imperfections.
God bless Nigeria.