Pantami: Yakowa’s Family Demands Investigation Into Document Linking Minister To Ex-Gov’s Death

The family of former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, has called for investigation into a trending document linking the embattled Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami, with the death of the former governor.

Yakowa, who was the first Christian governor of Kaduna, had died in a helicopter crash along with former National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Andrew Azazi, in December 2012.

But following the release of the document purporting how Pantami, as an Islamic preacher, allegedly connived with other Muslim leaders of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) in 2010 to plot Yakowa’s murder, the former governor’s family has expressed concern over the claim.

“We must either use the security or other means to eliminate the governor, his family and all those they perceive as supporting him,” read part of the minutes of JNI’s meeting allegedly chaired by Pantami.

THE WHISTLER has not been able to independently authenticate the document, neither has the minister come out to deny chairing the meeting.

But reacting through the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, Yakowa’s family wants the federal government to subject the document to “thorough security investigation and trials”.

Hayab, who was Yakowa’s Special Adviser on Religious Affairs, said “The church and Yakowa’s family consider the allegation very serious with a possible adverse impact on peace and national security. Consequently, expresses strong reservations and concerns about statements like the ones associated in the past by Pantami as circulated in audios and videos released on social media.”

While warning against circulating “phony and injurious statements” to settle society disagreements, Hayab however said, “we consider that the “communique could be doctored. We are aware that in this age of technological advancements, we have to take any allegations with a pinch of salt until we are confident of the authenticity of the source.”

Hayab further said, “Sensitive documents like the ones purported to be from the JNI meeting in Bauchi should be subjected to thorough security investigation and trials, not tools for social media warfare. The danger of making this a media issue, instead of a legal and security issue that it ought to be, is that we stand to lose the most important point; that of bringing to justice persons accused to have wronged the law.

“Accordingly, there is a need for circumspection and care so that we do not throw our communities into further chaos in the rush to hang one man. At a time of strained relationships between neighbours, what we need are mediatory interventions and peacebuilding, rather than adding fuel to the raging fire.

“To be sure, when Sir, Yakowa died in an air crash there was no inquiry to determine the cause of his death, aside from the immediate and likely technical fault leading to the helicopter crash. We, the Christian community and indeed his immediate family acknowledged the tragedy, submitting to the will of God Almighty. For that purpose, there is no point, now or later, to open up what will not bring back our leader and father but rather open up old wounds in a very controversial manner.

“Hence, those with an axe to grind with Pantami should do so within their limits. As a Church leader, I chose to speak because of my deep belief that justice is natural and we shall live to account before our Lord. Besides, if we support unverified allegations against someone today because we loathe the person, the monster could be deployed against us or someone we cherish tomorrow.

“As someone very close to the late Yakowa, I call on all Nigerians to ignore the insinuations linking Pantami with Sir Yakowa’s death, endangering national peace. This, I call on security agencies to step in and tame the circulation of such dangerous documents. We cannot afford to stock fire when we should be pouring more water. Those who feel they have information to help the security agencies investigate whatever crimes against groups or individuals should do so within the provided window, without exacerbating the tension of formulating tales in the public space,” he said.

Leave a comment