-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) -By Austen AKHAGBEME:
FOR a growing economy such as ours, the ministry of communication and Digital Economy is a sensitive place for anyone to cast aspersion upon.
But the youthful minister, Ali Patami, has helped to draw the attention of the world to his beat, nay his country, for the wrong reason. He is said to have been favourably disposed to terrorists and terrorism in the past as evidenced by his hard posture, preachments and verbosity.
The most interesting thing about this brouhaha was the ugly array of defenders that rose up on the side of the young minister, defending the indefensible. It goes further to reveal the inner recesses and workings of the warped mindset of an average ethnic bigot and the religious fundamentalism in our psyche.
I make bold to say this and comfortably so, because of the latest turn of events where Patami, himself, has admitted guilt and denounced his ugly past and preachments.
It is true that there’s a time in a man’s life when he could be favourably or unfavourably exposed to ideas and thoughts that easily radicalise the mind to accept doctrines of dangerous extremism or sheer political thoughts that are unpopular with the generality of his peers or the people but satisfies his juvenile desires and curiosity only.
Some of us grew up ” radicalised” in an academic environment by leftists lecturers where it was Marxism or nothing else as far as society, peace, economic freedom and human liberty is concern.
Egalitarianism based on marxists economic determinism was imbibed as the only panacea to societal problems. But today, we’ve all been cowed by the ubiquitous Capitalist system with its accompanying neo-liberalism to want to remember Marxism and its proponents.
Nevertheless, Patami’s case is quite a different and dangerous one, being a public servant in a foremost governmental position on one hand and against the backdrop of global insecurity and threat of terrorism around the world on the other.
More importantly, should Patami’s penance or repentance be taken hook line and sinker such that he should be allowed to continue as a minister of the federal republic against the backdrop of the rumoured negative tag on the America watch list?
Was his mere contrition a ploy to keep afloat while serving the sinister motives of his paymaster in a government already overwhelmed by terrorism and banditry? Let us forgive the young man his sins as we help him pack his bags as he proceeds home to his kinsmen in Gombe. Let Ali Isa Patami resign peacefully.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online