Gift Joseph Okpakorese
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami has responded to allegations linking him with radical Islam, dismissing them as mere rumors.
He said that; “I’ve preached against Boko Haram for the past 15 years of their existence” Pantami also while reacting to the reports currently making the rounds, insisted on his innocence and expressed his surprise at his reported connection with insurgents.
He also denied having any connections with the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group, as reported in recent viral news.
The minister, while addressing the issue, claimed that in the past, and even now, he has been speaking against the doctrines of Boko Haram and other related groups, thereby jeopardizing his life in the process.
“My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria,” he wrote via his Twitter handle on Monday.
“By the Almighty, no amount of intimidation will stop @Isa Pantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”
The minister was speaking up against media reports, published recently by the Daily Independent, that the United States government allegedly positioned him on a watchlist, for reported links with the founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf.
The news outlet did not furnish the public with any source of the claim other than citing the “America’s Intelligence Service.”
The US embassy in Nigeria has not been able to give a proper response to inquiries regarding the issue.
Meanwhile, what is responsible for the ongoing lack of belief in the minister’s claim of innocence, is a video clip featuring Pantami and Yusuf, which is being shared online to back up claims in the news report.
Nevertheless, upon cursory observation and investigations of the video being shared all over social media platforms, it appears it was only a clip of a discussion and debate between the pair whereby Pantami was speaking to the late Boko Haram leader against the group’s extremist anti-western educational ideologies.