By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the minister of Communications and Digital economy Sheikh Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami over his past affiliations to teachings of global Jihadists movements of AlQaeda.
HURIWA has also challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to be courageous in arresting and prosecuting terrorists and bandits such as armed Fulani herdsmen who are about pushing Nigeria into a state of civil war by their unbridled quest to displace farmers all over the Country so as to supplant themselves and other foreign based herders that officers of the Internal Security agencies have aided and abetted their illegal entry into Nigeria.
HURIWA has also challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to expose and boot out all the sleeping SYMPATHIZERS of Islamic terror networks embedded in his federal government if he truly means to decisively dismantle all the terror cells in existence in Nigeria and especially those who are actively threatening the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is unimaginable that a government that is totally intolerant of divergent opinions and has done quite a lot to use brute force of the armed Police and other security forces to physically crush supporters of such moderate Islamic groups like the Islamic Movement of Nigeria is the same administration that harbours someone who had indeed espoused the teachings of such global terrorism outlaws like the masterminds of AlQaeda global Jihadists movements”.
“Ironically, after this same person has been exposed and his past misdeeds made abundantly open, President Muhammadu Buhari with all his holier-than- thou attitudes has refused to dismissed this self confessed supporter of AlQaeda. Why did this government rushed to classify the self determination campaigners like the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist group whereas at the most strategic centre of administration the Country has someone who even by his belated admission had previously supported international terrorists?.
HURIWA continued thus: “How does the Nigerian government want decent Countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the European Union to have confidence in this same government under whose watch a self confessed supporter of the teachings of AlQaeda is the minister of Communications and Digital economy?”
“This is hypocrisy raised to power 2. The minister of Communications and Digital economy Sheikh Pantami must be dismissed forthwith unless the Muhammadu Buhari administration has now accepted to be a sympathizer of AlQaeda in which case Nigerians should in their numbers pour out on the streets and force the entire Federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari to resign immediately “.
HURIWA has asked Nigerians not to be deceived into accepting the belated statement of remorse made by the minister of Communications and Digital economy who had earlier threatened to sue a newspaper that had linked him up to some of the teachings that glorify the global Jihadists movements.
The Rights group said religious ideology and indoctrination is a dangerous and toxic phase that takes some greater amount of deradicalisation to be able to overcome even as the Rights group said the minister of Communications and Digital economy should rather resign so he will have good enough time to undergo DERADICALISATION because it is impossible that he has abandoned the ideology he once espoused just because he is in the Federal cabinet of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which in the first instance he is not a fit and proper person to be entrusted with such an esteemed public office. His continued stay in public office is a threat to our nationalsecurityinterests.”
HURIWA recalled that the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Ali Isa Pantami, has reportedly renounced some contoversial comments he made on Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The media reports that while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Al-Noor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, the minister said he now knows better about some of the comments he made in the past.
The embattled minister of Communications and Digital economy said: “For 15 years, I have moved round the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have traveled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism. I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path. Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity. I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager. I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”
HURIWA however thinks the minister is being clever by half since he tenaciously denied ever espousing teachings that endorse the activities of masterminds of AlQaeda and Taliban which he has now belatedly admitted after persistent pressures from civil rights campaigners.
The Rights group said it will speak with like minded people in the organised civil society community in Nigeria to mount pressure on the United States of America to arrest and investigate the minister of Communications and Digital economy should he refused to quit the public office that in the first place he is unfit to hold given his past associations with the ideology of AlQaeda and the Taliban.