Twitter Abuzz as Friends, Associates Defend Nigeria’s Communications Minister Over Alleged Links to Terrorist Groups
There is outrage today as friends and associates of Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Dr. Isa Alli Pantami on Monday went into a frenzy of defence over allegations that he has links with terrorists groups.
A publication NewsWire Nigeria had reported that the minister has been placed on the watch list by the United States Government for alleged link to the dreaded Al-Qaeda group.
The publication had shared a video where he was alleged to have spoken glowingly of major actors in the terrorism world suggestive of heavy links to them.
However, many have come to describe the allegations as laughable saying Pantami is a known critic of the doctrine for which terrorists stood.
The minister is yet to say anything on the issue as of the time of filing this report but what NPOreports gathered on the microblogging platform was that he is seen retweeting tweets of all those debunking the statement on his behalf.
A former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, in a series of tweets on his handle, condemned the NewsWire Nigeria that had reported the incident, Describing it as "non-verified online blogs to smear the image of the minister".
He said Dr. Pantami is a personality who dedicated his knowledge, teachings, and convictions to ideologically counter Boko Haram at significant risk to his life.
"This is very insulting," he said.
According to him, "among the 3 main opposition to Boko Haram & their ideology, two of them (Sheikh Jafar & Sheikh Albani) are already killed by the same terror group.
Dr. Pantami was the last surviving of them, on whom, same Boko Haram want his death, you want to smear his image for nothing," he said.
He, however, called for the celebration of Dr. Pantami instead of trying to tarnish his image.
"Even If Nigeria does not celebrate @DrIsaPantami for standing up for the constitution, the people, through his good works in both the social and spiritual realm, some gullible citizens must know that they are on a failed mission with dangerous consequences," he said
A 41-year-old Nigerian journalist from Borno state, Ahmad Salkida,
has also disclosed some facts against the alleged links of Dr. Pantami to Boko Haram sects.
He said Dr. Pantami was not an ally of the founder of Boko Haram, late Mohammed Yusuf.
He stressed that the Boko Haram sects dislike Dr. pantami owing to his persistent preaching in support of western education as against what the terrorists group hate.
"I'm not speaking for Pantami, he can speak for himself. He was never a confidant of the late Mohammed Yusuf, founder of #BokoHaram. As a matter of fact, Pantami put the #BokoHaram doctrine to task more than any other Muslim cleric in northern Nigeria.
"Pantami, as a university, Don at the time, had public debates with Yusuf about western education, democracy and some of the issues that the group was preaching against. He's been threatened repeatedly by the same group that you say he has links to.
"The problem is not Pantami, the problem here is our unwillingness to understand this crisis, and yet we want to end it. 10 years down the road we still miss the fuse that drives the #BokoHaram doctrine. The group has zero tolerance for the likes of Pantami," he said.
Another Twitter user Mahmud Bello, in his defensive manner for the minister, has urged him to sue those fueling the fake news.
"I really really hope and pray @DrIsaPantami sue these retards and fake news peddlers disguised as journalist. Bunch of rascals. Hate him with your chest, say it, but never ascribe what he's not to him. Useless people kawai," he said.
On his part, Gambo Hamza identified as @GAMBUS, said the attack on Dr. Pantami was owing to the fact that those Financiers and suppliers are unable to get to the terrorists. In what he described, "The digital space for terrorist funding is also narrowing".
One known as @SahabiSufyan,
has described the feelings of those fake news peddlers as hate on Dr. Pantami.
He said series of videos were available on the youtube where Dr. Pantami condemned the ideologies of the Boko Haram.
In his words, "There are series of videos available on YouTube, where @DrIsaPantami was condemning the ideologies of Boko Haram while debating with the late leader Muhammad Yusuf. If not hate, we should always take time to investigate negative remarks when we see or hear them."