By Samson Adenekan
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has suspended one of its state’s caretaker chairmen over a congratulatory letter to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
The Gombe State interim chairman of the association, Sunday Congo, had congratulated the minister following his promotion to the rank of Professor of Cyber Security by the Governing Council of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) at its meeting held in August.
Attaining the rank in Nigeria is expected to come with years of teaching and research in the university.
His new academic status has generated criticisms from different quarters questioning whether he earned the rank the way many did in the country.
In a letter date 15 September and signed by its General Secretary, Daramola Bade, the CAN announced Mr Congo’s suspension, accusing him of “overzealous Jess and misrepresentation of the association”.
They said his congratulatory message to the minister was issued without the approval of the association’s NEC.
“Following the recent publications of your congratulatory message to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, we write to inform you that your actions have generated a lot of concerns amongst members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“This action of yours in publishing and release made on behalf of the Association is tantamount to unilateral decision of you and overzealousness on your part, which was done without authorization and clearance. It is not only provocative but undermines the CAN NEC Executive. It does not in anyway represent their position.
“In view of the above, you are hereby directed to relinquish your position in Gombe CAN Executive with immediate effect and hand over all CAN’s property to your next in line in your Bloc,” the suspension letter reads.
Mr Pantami came under fire in April after video and audio records of his comments in support of terrorist groups and their acts went viral on social platforms. He expressed happiness over the massacre of ‘infidels’.
This led to the social media campaign for his removal by President Muhammadu Buhari despite apologising for the statements “being made out of ignorance”.