In the past few years, one of the challenges the country has faced has been the level of intolerance, which has dominated our social and political discourse. Such is the sensitivity of this issue that has permeated all sectors and affected citizens’ perceptions of decisions and/or appointment to positions regardless of whether it is done in good faith by appropriate and/or authorized authorities.
Today, Professor Issa Pantanmi, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, one of the youngest scientific figures in the Federal Government of Nigeria, is standing in the eye of the storm for various reasons.
As a primary professional and one of the few wedges in the round holes appointed by the Muhammadu Buhari government, he was bound to be the subject of controversy, which stemmed from his personal beliefs and the occasional rise of the rebellion as he tried to ensure his duty to fulfill the national identity politics, which has become to some extent Baby “Abiko” often due to spasticity.
Bantanm’s personal religious background and persuasion collided with the former, which came at a time when the Islamist insurgency exacerbated by Boko Haram was affecting the national identity project.
This inadvertently put Bantanmi in the court of public opinion where he is seen as a citizen whose previous role in his personal religion cannot be separated from his new vocation, for which he has earned laurels as a professional.
But by far the most challenging image problem for the 49-year-old cybersecurity expert despite his indisputable professional and academic qualifications, is his appointment two months ago as a professor of cybersecurity by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Pantanmi, he will state that he had a series of degrees, BSC, MSC,
MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and PhD in Computer Information Systems from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK.
Critics have put this appointment into question as to the young minister’s previous academic achievement and performance among a group of 53 colleagues on the Federal Executive Council.
It is known that the highly influential changes in the telecom sector in the country of which the Minister of Communications is the main focus, has apparently prepared him to become another goose that lays the golden egg of the nation along with the oil sector.
As the ASUU panel explains in detail, how Patanmi applied for a professorship in response to the university’s announcement and the steps the university has taken to approve his application in accordance with established procedures.
Hence, criticism of his new academic position failed to recognize his earlier glories, but rather burdened his personal religious lineage, an issue that inadvertently burdened the country.
But then, the due process adherence to the FUTO Board of Directors, which has announced vacant professorships among them the Department of Cyber Security to help deepen its research in this field among five others in the sciences is not only commendable but also comes a time when it faces The nation’s serious security challenges, only the use of modern technology can contain.
To appoint Bantanmi, as a cyber professor, branch campus for the university’s faculty, ASU formed a committee that declared in its report due process by the board of directors.
For once, academics had to be further isolated from unwarranted partisanship when ASU at FUTO formed a committee of six professors led by Professor MS Nwakaudu and came out to decide the appointment as followed due process.
The eminent academic committee confirmed that the Minister had already applied for membership in FUTO and was scrutinized by the FUTO Board of Directors due to his various academic works, publications and contributions to knowledge in the two well-known institutions. Saudi Arabia…speaks of academia’s confidence in the system of which it is a part.
Besides, it can ask the management of FUTO to protect its integrity by taking steps to correct some misconceptions against it, this is evidence of a scientific body willing to defend its integrity and that of the institution it represents and therefore the ability of the person appointed to contribute to the knowledge of the institution from which the leadership of the State University was drawn Arizona is its strength, too.
Among other actions recommended by Arizona State University, taking legal action against those who tried to discredit the university is an affirmation of its belief and confidence in the sanctity of the institution and the established system.
Apart from the Board of Directors, ASU was also able to demonstrate that Bantanmi’s evaluation was based on submitting the details of his publication along with others, and the same was sent to the Dean of the College of Information and Communications Technology at the reputable institution which evaluates applications equally on the basis of Merit, is also an indication that the standards of the institution have not been compromised as critics claim.
Also that the Dean of SICT evaluated publications and productive work – some of which have been accredited by the Nigerian Telecom System, in its various revolutionary programs as regulator of the telecom system in the country; The use of FUTO’s recruitment and promotion guidelines and the establishment of a prima facie case for the Bantanami appointment is an indication of commitment to a well-established process.
This same approach by the dean and the school is a function of a working academic community and an institution unaffected by the nation’s deteriorating system.
Perhaps, if Pantanmi had not been a public figure, the uproar his appointment made to The Professor would not have erupted.
Yes, some claim, he may not have spent many years in the scholarship ladder, but the atmosphere in the academics is about affected knowledge, contribution to knowledge and participation for national development.
The fact that since his appointment as Professor of Cyber Security by the FUTO Board of Directors, he is currently involved in teaching CYB 201 online and is also a lead supervisor of the security department of a PhD student/staff, is a function of wanting to contribute knowledge and inspire young undergraduates in the contemporary learning environment and especially As a minister, he serves in an important and strategic sector of the nation’s economy.
There is a need to separate the steps of our development from partisan politics and primal sentiments, especially when we have exposed public servants active in the leadership saddle in a dynamic world.
It should not be forgotten in a hurry that the duo of the former General Manager of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Professor Ndee Okerek Onyuk and the late Professor Dora Akonelli of the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency have both been appointed professors by Nigerian universities.
The duo’s appointments have been well received in the corporate and academic worlds while other stakeholders in the country have also accepted the grants.