Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has reacted to the alleged affiliations of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Patami, with Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorism groups.
Wike in a reaction posted on his Twitter page (username: @GovWike) said; “No reasonable Government would allow a person with the issues around Dr Patami to remain in its cabinet.
“Ordinarily the Minister should leave immediately but this Government doesn’t care This should not be allowed, saying it was done in the past or he has repented is not the issue.
“It is inexcusable, at best we can say the seeds he sowed have germinated and led to the killing and destruction of people. If I was in such a situation I would have tendered my resignation.”
No reasonable Government would allow a person with the issues around Dr Patami remain in its cabinet.
Ordinarily the Minister should leave immediately but this Government doesn't care
This should not be allowed, saying it was done in the past or he has repented is not the issue
— Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (@GovWike) April 21, 2021
Meanwhile, a former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, has said the secret police informed the Federal Government and the National Assembly of the past radical pro-Taliban views of the embattled Minister before his confirmation as a minister in 2019.
A civil society group, Concerned Nigerians, has also on Monday, urged the DSS, to recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that the minister should be sacked.
ALSO READ: DSS informed FG of Pantami’s extremist views before ministerial appointment, says ex-director, Amachree
The main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also urged the DSS, to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The Minister through an interview denied having any link with terrorists as alleged in media reports.
The minister while reacting to the widespread report said he has been preaching against the doctrines of Boko Haram and similar groups, endangering his life in the process.
The Minister in another occasion maintained that he does not hold extremist views nor support Boko Haram.
He also said that no Islamic preacher both in the past and in recent times has criticized and condemned the activities of Boko Haram terrorists than he did.
The minister however on Monday declined to comment when he had an encounter with journalists during the NITDA @20 Anniversary conference held in Abuja.
Vanguard reported he said; “I have no comment,’’
However, one of the aides to the Minister, Mr Yusuf Abubakar, in defence of the minister told Vanguard in a chat that he was shocked to read some of the allegations raised against the Minister, which did not portray the true picture of who the Minister is.
He described Pantami as a man of justice, who believes in talent development and discipline.’’
‘‘Based on my personal experience, during his inaugural speech, Pantami said, ‘‘If you are to progress under my leadership, you must focus on education and hardwork to lift you.’’
‘‘He also said he was for anti-corruption, that stuck to me, that was my first time of seeing him was as Director General of NITDA and I worked towards that. Immediately, he got elevated to minister, he invited me to come and work with him.
‘‘He is a man of honour, untribalistic and a man of vision. His leadership has influenced me a lot, I have gained a lot of experience from him, even at my house, I treat everybody equally.
“Pantami does not look down on his drivers, he respects everyone. When people visits him, he escorts them being a male or female. He is a man of honour and discipline.
‘‘I feel very bitter reading all the media comments and attacks against him because most of these things are being concocted. I think people who do not know him are those making all sort of comments about him and insinuations.
‘‘Their actions are uncalled for. I advise that they should get to know him because he is a very simple person, if not for coronavirus, more people would have come to know him. He is a very simple and easy-going person.”