Minister Isa Pantami has reacted to trending reports of him being included in the United States of America watchlist over his alleged link to Boko Haram, a terrorist group that has killed thousands and displaced millions.
Mr Pantami who heads Communications and Digital Economy ministry was said to have ties with late Mohammed Yusuf, founder of the outlawed group which has threatened to kill him.
The report published by a national daily quoted Western Intelligence as getting the hint from the intelligence agency of the foreign country.
One of the online publications, TODAY POLITICS excluded, which published the story has retracted it, saying it couldn’t establish link with the quoted source. In his reaction, the minister said although he his taken note of the retraction, major publishers of the story will meet him in court to present evidence of the report he said fell short of an investigative journalism.
TODAY POLITICS also observed pro-government supporters are compiling a list of all news portals that republished the report.
“However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after,” Mr Pantami tweeted on Monday. “Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in the court on this defamation of character.
“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. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively,” he added.
The minister further warned Nigerians to ensure their sim cards are linked to their National Identity Number (NIN) which, according to him, is aimed at fighting the worsening state of insecurity nationwide.
“On the issue of NIN-SIM Verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as GOVERNMENT based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is SECURITY, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all. Let’s the sponsors continue,” he said.