The Islamic human rights organisation, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has said that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami deserves an apology for the wrong accusation by Sahara Reporters.
This is contained in a press statement issued and made available to newsmen on the 13th of July 2020.
“Sahara Reporters recently accused Dr Ali Isa Pantami of purchasing three houses within the period that he became a Minister. This is a highly defamatory and malicious allegation. But the honourable minister has debunked the allegation with indubitable evidence. We are not aware of any other development in the matter to date,” the statement read.
“The Muslim Rights Concern is deeply concerned that Sahara Reporters has picked on an innocent Islamic scholar of international reputation for yellow journalism. Minister Pantami is a rare product of Islamic scholarship. We are proud of him and we frown at any attempt to stain his name,” MURIC said.
“The fact that many Nigerians go into politics and hold public office for ulterior motives does not mean that all Nigerians are thieves. There are still a large number of honest Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. We have no scintilla of doubt that Dr Pantami stands tall among the latter group.
“We have remained quiet all this while hoping that Sahara Reporters would withdraw its statement particularly after the minister had successfully defended himself. Facts are known to be sacred in journalism and we expect the newspaper to restrict itself to facts only. We know that the press is powerful but no media house has the moral right to abuse that power.
“It is our honest belief that Minister Pantami has been wronged by Sahara Reporters. He deserves an apology. Therefore the newspaper should do the needful otherwise it will lose the respect of the general public.”
However, MURIC has called on the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to take necessary steps that will ensure that journalists work in accordance with the ethics of the profession.
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