Elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has risen in defence of Pantami, as some Nigerians insist on his resignation over his past sermons on Boko Haram and Osama bin Laden.
The Second Republic politician said in Kano yesterday that the minister’s public apology and expression of regret over his past religious utterances was enough atonement.
In a series of reports, complete with audio-graphic accomplishments, Peoples Gazette had unearthed a number of Islamic sermons delivered years ago by Pantami, which indicated sympathy for Osama bin Laden even as he defended Boko Haram sect.
Speaking with Daily Sun in Kano, Yakasai alleged that those who were pushing for the minister’s resignation were not coming out clean to Nigerians.
“I think that his public apology should be enough. The people who are bent on pursuing him up to this moment, even after he had apologised for these remarks are certainly engaged in the pursuit of something else. Maybe a witch hunt.
When someone admits to his mistake and in addition to that, apologies for that mistake, I think that that should be enough. What is expected of him, that is to own up to his mistake and to apologise, has been done publicly.”
Yakasai argued that if everyone was to be held responsible for his past mistakes, then none is guiltless, saying that as people grow up, they gain new insights about life, refine their life-ways and discard some of their old beliefs and positions.
He said he was convinced that Pantami had truly repented from his past sympathies with terrorists groups, while adding that those who were still doubtful of his transfiguration would have to wait to see if he still held those positions or would go back them, before they could charge at him.
“If he resigns, does it change any thing? Would his resignation change what he said and uttered in the past. Every religion accepts apology and repentance. Everyone of us must have made a mistake while we were growing up.”
He encouraged Nigerians, especially young persons, to be mindful of their public utterances so as not be hunted by these remarks in the future.