Pantami tackles Abike Dabiri over office accommodation | Dailytrust

Pantami tackles Abike Dabiri over office accommodation

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, weekend publicly accused the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ibrahim Pantami, of ejecting her staff from an office given to her by the Federal Government.

Daily Trust had reported exclusively in February that the police and other security operatives, allegedly acting on the minister’s order, evicted the staff of the NIDCOM from their office in Abuja.

However, the minister who spoke through his aides, denied knowledge of the eviction.

But Dabiri-Erewa, at the weekend, accused Pantami of ordering security operatives to throw out NIDCOM staff from an office that the Nigeria Communication Commission gave to them.

Dabiri-Erewa, in a video tweeted by the commission, said the staff were not even allowed to take their property after armed men sealed the office.

The office complex located at Mbora District in Abuja is an annex of NCC’s head office.

“In one year, we don’t have an office. The office we got, given to us by NCC but we were actually driven away by the honourable minister of communications and digital economy, Mr Isa Pantami, within two days, they drove us out with guns and what happened? The place was given to us by NCC.

“You know we all help each other, NCC as an agency of government, said there is a place you can use to settle in, and just as we settled in, I was in Ethiopia when I got a call. I thought it was a joke. I came back from Ethiopia on Thursday, this happened on Tuesday, by Friday when I went to the office, armed men had taken over the place. I thought it was a joke, but here’s the thing, I’m a government employee, so is he. It’s a government business,” she said.

Dabiri-Erewa said she had petitioned the appropriate authorities on the incident.

“I’ve complained officially, but we let it be. He wants the place, let him take it. That place is still there, a whole floor is still vacant. As I speak with you, all our items are locked up. I don’t have computer, I don’t have printers, everything has been locked up,” she said.

Reacting, the minister, in a tweet yesterday, described Dabiri-Erewa’s allegation as “a big fat lie”.

“THIS IS A FAT LIE FROM HER: The owner of the building @NgComCommission has faulted her lies on their social media platforms. The minister has never given that directives to any gunman. We need to be very objective in reporting. I have never sent any gunmen there, and I have no one,” the minister tweeted.

Earlier yesterday, NCC Director of Public Affairs Dr Henry Nkemadu said at the time the office space was offered to NIDCOM, the NCC had got approval for the inauguration of the complex by President Muhammadu Buhari “and this led to some hiccups.

“The NCC has not withdrawn the offer, but had hiccups arising from the preparation for the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate the Communications and Digital Economy Complex and launch of other projects relating to the mandate of government,” Nkemadu said..

He said Pantami, therefore, could not have sent armed men to drive the staff of the NIDCOM out of the Communications and Digital Economy Complex.”

He said NIDCOM’s properties were safely warehoused in some of the offices in the complex.

Daily Trust learnt that there had been a cold war between Pantami and Dabiri-Erewa over who has the right to the office located at Mbora District, on the Airport Road, Jabi, Abuja.