Pantami, silence is not the answer

“Yaba kyauta tukwici”, this is to borrow some Hausa adage, meaning “appreciate whoever shows concern on you” and “he who wants to stay away from being disappointed, should expect less and love less from anybody”.

My focus is not on the acquisition of a professorship by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, or question the legality of his promotion or whether it followed due process or not. My aim here is to emphasise on why he has kept silent on the issue. After all, his “die-hard fans” are all over the media ranting and celebrating his victory.

For the sake of clarity and further reference, let me briefly state the criteria for promotion to the rank of a professor a “professorship” in Nigeria and at the same time highlight some of Pantami’s academic records.
The criteria for the award of a professor are: a holder of Phd, years of teaching (one must spend three years on L1, L2, senior lecturer and associate professor), publication of articles (minimum of 50),
assessment of scholarship (this stage assesses how scholarly someone is, your contribution to development of education sector, and this is done by eminent professors).

Before Pantami left Nigeria to UK for his PhD, he’s either a L1 or L2 at ATBU where he taught for some years. After the completion of the programme, we heard that he was offered appointment at the Islamic University (Madinah) briefly he became an assistant professor, which is equivalent to senior lecturer here in Nigeria. Suddenly, now he’s a professor.

Before one is promoted to any level, he or she must follow some procedures known as “criteria” like Pantami. He was an assistant professor before he took up a national appointment. So, his next promotion should be an associate professor not direct professor. And he must spend six years before he can be promoted to a professor – his last promotion was a senior lecturer.

Forget about the number of his publications because there is no doubt on it. But look at his years of teaching, when did he become an assistant professor and how many years did he spend on that level?

It could be recalled that, since he left Madinah, he didn’t go back to academic institution, then how would he be promoted to that level, even after he has switched to another line?

And his promotion should come directly from either ATBU or Madinah, because that is where he taught, not Owerri where he has never been.

Now to begin with the point, whoever looks at the way and manner Dr Pantami’s fans boldly without any hesitation stood up firm and celebrated his victory on the social media as if he’s the first Nigerian that became a professor on “Cyber Security” and he’ll be the last, nobody will ever think that he’ll reach this extent without saying a word of gratitude to his die-hard fans.

Although one may say that, what’s my business with him not appreciating his fan’s effort. Of course, yes I’ve no business with them, but still Pantami owes the general public an explanation, because there’s “question mark” attached to his promotion.

If a reputable and a well respected personality and Islamic cleric like Pantami whom we’re looking up to as a”role model” can keep mute at a time when his clarity is the only “wayout” then what about others who are not imparting anything compared to Dr Pantami?

Finally, Pantami and whoever is seeing his promotion to the rank of professor on Cyber Security from the prestigious Federal University of Technology, FUT, Owerri, Imo state is legal should get it clear that, I’m not in anyway against his victory, but to tell them that, his silence is causing more harm and controversy issues that could lead him to lose his reputation.

Abubakar Muhammad Sani,
[email protected]