The Concerned Nigerians group has written to the State Security Service (SSS), calling for the arrest and prosecution of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, while also asking it to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the minister over his past pro-terrorism comments.
Deji Adeyanju, Convener of the group, in a letter addressed to the Director General of SSS in Abuja on Monday, sighted by SaharaReporters, said Pantami should be invited for questioning with a view to prosecuting him.
Apart from the SSS, also known as the Department of State Services, the group also copied the US Ambassador to Nigeria and the High Commissioner, UK High Commission in Nigeria.
Pantami has been under fire since clips of some of his lectures resurfaced over 10 years later, in which he made some comments sympathetic towards extremist sects like Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
Following that, many Nigerians have demanded the resignation of Pantami or his sacking.
For instance, Pantami was quoted to have said while preaching in the 2000s, “This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria.’’
“Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda,” he was also quoted to have prayed.
However, the letter by Concerned Nigerians titled ‘Terrorist Watchlist – Isa Pantami’, said, “We write to bring to your notice numerous publications in the media about Sheik Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications wherein he was quoted in the past supporting major terrorist groups -Al-Qaeda and the Talibans and describing Osama Bin Laden as a hero and better Muslim than himself. And that after public outcry and condemnation, Sheik Pantami has come out to confirm that he expressed such views and regret ever doing so.
“We, therefore, call upon you in the face of his admission, to invite him for questioning with the view of prosecuting him for supporting terrorism. It will interest you to know that many Nigerians are already wondering how he passed security clearance with your agency to become a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We wish to bring to your notice that terrorists and their sympathisers don’t repent, they are only looking for an opportunity to get close to power so they can strike harder. Sheik Pantami is too close to power and we urge you to advise the president from a security point of view to sack him in the interest of Nigeria.”