Amid calls for his resignation over relationships with terrorist organisations, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, says his past controversial comments on terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda were misinterpreted, adding that he is not a terrorist.

Pantami who has had series of media interviews to douse the tension generated by revelations, and videos showing him teaching and calling for the death of infidels in support of views expressed by terrorists organizations said that he is not a terrorist not terrorist’s supporter disclosing in an interview with Peoples Gazette on Friday, said, “My personal driver is Mai Keffi, a practising Christian. I also have a Christian, Ms Nwosu, as my secretary and Dr Femi, also a Christian, as my technical adviser.

“If I did not like Christians or I did not see them as my brothers and sisters, I would not have been working with them for so long. I employed more Christians than Muslims on my staff because I believe in merit and competence over ethnic or tribal sentiments.”

“I have never condoned terrorism and I reject any affiliation to terror groups. I have long preached peaceful coexistence amongst people of every faith and ethnicity.”

Pantami has been in the news after a publication alleged he has been placed on Terror watch-list for alleged ties with Boko Haram, many Nigerians have thereafter been calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the minister.

Although Pantami earlier vowed to sue the national daily for publishing a fake report as regards his alliance with terrorists groups but things took a new dimension after a viral video recorded many years ago was released.

The video which was confirmed by his lawyer, Michael Numa, had the minister engaging the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in a public debate.

The Nigerian Twitter community in a trending hashtag #PantamiResign after this development, said the minister could not be trusted with the data of Nigerians, especially with the ongoing National Identification Number (NIN) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) integration exercise under his watch.

Pantami’s supporters, however, came up with a counter-hashtag #PantamiWillStay.

Reports also say there are three audio recordings of his teachings in the 2000s, when he took extreme positions in support of the brutal exploits of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world.

The minister however in his latest interview said his statements were misinterpreted, rejecting affiliations with any terror group.


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