By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The prominent Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has accused the Minister of Communications and Digital economy Sheikh Ali Ibrahim Isa Pantami of choosing to apply argumentum ad Hominem or fallacy of attacking individuals rather than for him to clearly tell Nigerians whether he actually expressed those extremist views and endorsement of activities of masterminds of AlQaeda or not.
The Rights group said if indeed the minister of Communications and Digital economy is the owner of the voice in the series of audio messages supporting AlQaeda, then he should resign forthwith or be dismissed or Nigerians should mount pressure on the United States of America to arrest him.
The Rights group said it was disingenuous and totally unhelpful for the embattled minister of Communications and Digital economy to blame some imaginary enemies for the controversy that has arisen by the revelations in some sections of the media that in the past during his teachings as an Islamic Cleric that he Sheikh Pantami expressed positions which directly supported the activities of individuals the government of the United States of America and the United Nations have designated as global Jihadists leaders who are the masterminds of some of the worst and most atrocious bombing campaigns that targeted civilians in the United States of America and many parts of the World.
HURIWA recalled that most of these international terrorists have been similarly killed in several bombing campaigns by the United States of America.
“As a very educated person, we in the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, (HURIWA) are asking the Minister of Communications and Digital economy Sheikh Isa Pantami to confirm or deny whether he is the owner of the voice heard in a lot of audio messages in Hausa language that clearly professes support for what the Saudi born terrorist masterminds of AlQaeda have embraced which is to attack the interests of the United States of America and all those who are not adherents of their brand of Islam. In simple language, we are asking Pantami if he supports AlQaeda or not?”
HURIWA also condems the approach being adopted by the minister of Communications and Digital economy in seeking to shift attention from the massive revelations of his past activities by seeking to blame those who are opposed to the National Identification number.
“It is bizarre, so disgusting and disingenuous for this public office holder to choose to use Fallacy to divert attention away from a very serious allegations against him that he had delivered public speeches that gave unqualified support for AlQaeda.”
“If indeed this is true, the minister should resign forthwith. Telling us that you have Christians working for you or that persons opposed to NIN are after you are illogical, laughable and amounts to cheap propaganda that does not hold water. The minister should address the issues squarely and stop the diversionary tactics”.
HURIWA recalled that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has explained that forces against the Federal Government policy of compulsory National Identity Number (NIN) registration for all Nigerians and those residing in the country are behind the attacks against him.
“And this is a mandate given to me by President Muhammadu Buhari. He personally signed the letter that ‘you are mandated to do that’, HURIWA quoted him as saying.
HURIWA also quoted the minister as stating thus: “As his appointee, I should either do it or say I cannot. So, since I am willing to serve my country, I must continue to do it to the best of my ability. So, in my meeting with them, they even encouraged me to push it and make it very successful.”
The Rights group dismissed this approach of the Minister of Communications and Digital economy as unsatisfactory and totally outrageous.