Presidency to prosecute media editors, alleges ICT firms bankrolling Pantami’s misery

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The presidency has made known its resolve to go after media houses consistently publishing past extremist views of Minister Isa Pantami.

Mr Pantami whose past Islamic views have come to hunt down presently heads Digital Economy and Communications ministry spearheading the enforcement of National Identity Number (NIN) to Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) linkage.

He was caught on tape declaring support for terrorists while berating the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan of unjustly eliminating Boko Haram terrorists whom he described as his Muslim brothers.

He also expressed satisfaction at the unending killings of non-muslims, an ideology Boko Haram is spearheading in Nigeria.

The President Muhammadu Buhari administration says the initiative is aimed at tracking down criminal elements which will in turn tune down rising insecurity across the country.

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Renouncing his extremist views, the embattled Communications chief said he made the now controversial remarks supporting terrorists while he was immature. His explanation did not deter defiant Nigerians from continuing demanding his removal from office.

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In a statement Thursday night, the Presidency in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said the federal government stands by the minister.

Mr Shehu who alleged that media professionals were being financially induced to continue unearthing the now renounced views made in the past, threatened to deploy arsenals aimed at clamping down on the media.

“And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections,” the president’s spokesman said. “The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.

“The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services,” he added.

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