Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has denied allegations that he had close ties to Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda terrorists as alleged in some viral reports.
The minister said he has been preaching against the doctrines of Boko Haram and similar groups, endangering his life in the process.
A Daily Independent report published by NewsWireNGR (now retracted) had alleged that Pantami had close ties to late Boko Haram Leader, Muhammed Yusuf as well as Abu Quatada al Falasimi and other Al-Qaeda leaders with whom he reportedly shared jihadist doctrines.
According to Pantami, the video (in Hausa) embedded in the NewsWire story which claimed the Minister was having a friendly chat with Yusuf, was actually a heated debate between him and the late Boko haram leader.
During the argument, Pantami had disagreed with Yusuf’s position on governance, stating that Muslims should participate in democratic rule and get an education.
“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 intimation will stop @IsaPantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”
The news platform did not provide any source of the claim other than citing the “America’s Intelligence Service.”
The news could not verify the information; official sources including the US embassy in Nigeria have not responded to enquiries regarding the issue.