Pantami dissociates self from supporting terrorism

Communications Minister, Isa Pantami.

Minister Isa Pantami has dissociated himself from supporting terrorism as speculated in some quarters, particularly from his past controversial Islamic sermons.

The media had recently beamed its searchlight on the Digital Economy and Communications chief after he was reportedly placed on U.S watch-list, a claim that has been retracted.

- advertisement -

His past sermons delivered in 2000s and dug up recently portray him as a hypocrite and an extremist who also celebrate when non-muslims are violently eliminated.

But in an interview with Peoples Gazette, the communication chief who has been at the forefront of enforcing the National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) linkage, said he has never supported terrorists, a claimed one of his previous teachings punctured.

Dissociating himself, the minister said he is not an extremist, citing some of his staff who are of different faith with him.

“My personal driver is Mai Keffi, a practising Christian,” Mr Pantami said. “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,” he added.

The minister who denied ever calling for violence or supporting one, said he has been attacked by Muslims for supporting Christians severally.

“I have always preached peace and tolerance,” the minister added. “In some cases, I was attacked by my fellow Muslims for supporting my Christian brothers and sisters.” 

- advertisement -