By Ladi Peter Thompson
Nigeria owes Pastor Garuba Shehu a debt of gratitude for his sermons on mercy with respect to his comrade, Isa Pantami. Nigerians really need to be reminded that God is indeed merciful while men are very cruel. The only snag in Pastor Garuba Shehu’s sermon is that he is urging men and Nigerians to forgive Pantami based on the confessions that were squeezed out of a recalcitrant Islamic scholar who initially threatened those who exposed his terrorist career. We all want to forgive Pantami but the problem is that it is only God that can forgive Pantami and God expects the government to do what governments were created for and leave the matter of the pardon to the Almighty.
I am sure that Pastor Garba Shehu knows that God expects the Government to charge and try Pantami for treason and terrorism so that no one will accuse the government of carrying the sword of justice in vain. This is expressed in the Holy Bible in the book of Romans chapter thirteen. After Pantami is given a fair trial and perhaps convicted it would then be easier to grant him a presidential pardon. As a presidential spokesman this is what Pastor Garuba should be talking about, more so when the case of the ATBU student Sunday Achi, who was murdered on Pantami’s alleged religious instruction in 2004 is yet to receive closure.
We are all mere men but we know that one of the most important elements in terrorism is the role of the rogue clerics that radicalise the gullible. Shekau of Sambisa was not born a radical extremist! It took a ‘Pantami’ to radicalise Shekau who went on to murder many people and is still murdering them. Shekau because of his obvious crimes has had to relocate his residence into the forest while the ‘Pantami’ who radicalised him continues to mix and mingle in the city. The question here is to determine who is more dangerous between the killers and the rogue clerics that radicalise them! It is reported that the young Mutallab, the underpants bomber was radicalised by the teachings of Pantami and the gullible young man is now serving a life sentence in an American jail.
We are puzzled that Pastor Shehu Garba is yet to write the American government to forgive Mutallab. I guess Pastor Garba Shehu believes that Pantami deserves the forgiveness more than Mutallab. After all, God in his mercy, did not allow Umar Farouk Mutallab at age 23 to kill all the innocent people on the flight he boarded to the US. Pantami too was an excitable youth of 32 years of age when he allegedly supervised the strangulation of Sunday Achi on religious grounds. To receive full forgiveness it would only be proper for Pantami to call out the students who carried out his instructions just in case they are highly placed in government, too. Pantami also needs to apologise to the other students that escaped the death sentence he issued in ATBU. I spoke to one of them last week and he is still highly traumatised.
On a final note, it is common knowledge that the terrorist often position moles and spies in high places to sabotage nations but Pastor Garuba Shehu has assured us that Pantami is not one of them. Our suspicions were aroused when Sheikh Ahmad Gumi rose to Pantami’s defence because he has a magical power that he uses to locate terrorist. Thankfully, we know that Pastor Garuba Shehu cannot be wrong about Pantami. In any case the ministry of communications and digital economy is not that important in the war against terrorism.
You know, Nigerians are very religious and we are all believers so we really want Pantami to be forgiven but these few issues must be settled first. We are all aware that a lot of “in God we trust” is being distributed across the nation to facilitate the forgiveness of Pantami and I am now announcing that I am also available to be influenced too. Since we all know the power of “in God we trust” I am assured that my sleep cannot be troubled even if Sunday Achi decides to appear in my dreams.
▪︎ Thompson is a Strategic Thought Consultant