By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group:- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari that his administration may be designated a sympathizer of Al-Queada and Taliban should he refused to dismiss his minister of Communications and Digital Economy: Sheikh Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.
“It is in the self-enlightened interest of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to clear its image of the suspicions that it is a sympathizer of International terrorism by sacking his minister of communications and digital economy Sheikh Pantami who had admitted espousing the teachings of Al- Queada and Taliban previously”.
In the media release signed by the national coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has cautioned President Buhari to dismiss his Minister of Communications due to his affinity and endorsement of global Jihadist movement.
The group said failure by Buhari to do the needful means he would be dragged to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by any patriotic group of citizens to canvass the claims that the mass killings of Christians in the North by armed Fulani herdsmen and Islamists were tolerated by the President himself because of his predilection to keep in his administration a man who had confessed to have backed Al- Queada and Taliban. HURIWA also recalled that the President himself had in the past spoken in favour of boko haram terrorists when he carpeted the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for degrading, decimating and eliminating terrorists belobging to the Islamic extremist boko haram just as President Muhammadu Buhari had once in the past called for total Islamic Shariah law in Nigeria. HURIWA therefore affirms that allowing Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami the self confessed supporter of AlQaeda and Taliban to remain in his strategic post as minister of Communications and Digital economy means that indeed President Muhammadu Buhari has an agenda to support Islamic extremists.
The Rights group has also reminded President Buhari that civil society groups can also petition World leaders and mount pressure on the United States congress to designate the Federal government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari as a sympathizer of global Jihadist movement by association. The Rights group has appealed to Members of the Civil Rights Advocacy movements in Nigeria to send petitions to the United States Congress to urge the body to designate President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a sympathizer of AlQaeda and Taliban and thereafter impose specific sanctions targeted President Muhammadu Buhari and his cabinet officials including the minister of Communications and Digital economy.
HURIWA recalled that the Nigeria’s Minister of Communications & Digital Economy Dr. Isa Ali Pantami had initially denied any links to jihadist terrorist organization based in northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram.
In a Tweet, Dr. Isa said, “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. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.” 2) 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. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.
HURIWA recalled too that the minister also added that he will sue one of Nigeria’s publications for defamation. “Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in the court on this defamation of character.” He said.
HURIWA recalled that reports had emerged that Dr. Isa had been placed on the US terror watch-list over alleged ties with Boko Haram leader. Nigeria’s government has also denied the claims, in a tweet, Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari described the report as ‘fake news.’ Maintaining that the Minister has never been on any U.S. watchlist.
HURIWA recalled however that in a volte-face the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, reportedly renounced his past controversial comments on terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
HURIWA recalled that he then changed his initial debunking of the accusations that he had backed AlQaeda and Taliban and instead took back his words thus: “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 said it is unacceptable that the Minister can remain in office because he has just renounced his past just so he can remain in office and to allegedly execute the pro-Islamic agenda that both he and his appointing authority are already implementing.
The Rights group said the only way Nigerians can heave a sigh of relief is for the Minister of Communications and Digital economy Sheikh Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami to be dismissed from office and sent for DERADICALISATION.