By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
A civil society organisation, Concerned Nigerians, has petitioned the United States embassy in Nigeria, urging the Joe Biden-led administration to investigate the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his alleged involvement with terror groups.
The group also demanded that the American government places the minister on its terror watch list if the allegations against him were found to be true.
The hashtag #PantamiResign has been a trending topic on Twitter, on Friday, with over 30,800 tweets as of the time of filing this report.
However, the petition titled, ‘Terrorist Watchlist –Isa Pantami’ which was signed by the convener of the group, Comrade Deji Adeyanju, reads in part: “We write to intimate you of remarks attributed to Sheikh Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Communications Minister in several media platforms in the country wherein it was alleged that he had in the past openly supported and endorsed global terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
“Pantami was said to have also praised Osama Bin Laden, describing him as a hero and a better Muslim than himself. Such views are extremist views and a threat to a multi-religious nation like Nigeria. He has not renounced these views in the face of new revelations by the media.
“He is a senior member of President Buhari’s regime and we are of the view that a supporter of Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden should not hold a sensitive position and be in charge of the database of Nigerians. We are confident that Mr Pantami will not resign or be sacked despite the public outcry because President Buhari is drawn to men like him.
“We implore you to investigate these allegations and if true, place him on your terrorist watchlist permanently. Those who express extremist views remain a threat to world peace as they support the mass murder of both Christians and Muslims globally. This remains unacceptable.
“Our reply to those who say these men may have had a change of heart is that terrorists don’t repent, they are only looking for an opportunity to get close to power so they can strike harder.”