Nigerians on social media have started trending the #PantamiResign hashtag while calling for the sacking of the Minister of Communications and Digital Technology, Isa Ali Pantami, over alleged ties with terrorism and terrorist groups.

On Saturday, a report in a Nigerian newspaper, Daily Independent Independent claimed that the United States government allegedly placed Pantami on a watchlist for reported links with Boko Haram leaders citing the “America’s Intelligence Service.”


But on Tuesday, the Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja said it could not confirm the allegation.

Though the paper had made retractions after which the minister promised to sue, other media sources have come up with fresh allegations against the minister claiming Pantami had once defended Al Qaeda and the Taliban. 

Various videos and reports have flooded social media which have attracted the outrage of Nigerians who are requesting the immediate resignation of the minister. 

For instance, a report by the People's Gazette said Pantami once condemned Nigerian Army’s incursion into Boko Haram strongholds. 

The report said Pantami described the insurgents as “our Muslim” brothers who did not deserve to be killed like pigs.

“See what our fellow Muslim brothers’ blood has turned to? Even pig blood has more value than that of a fellow Muslim brother,” Mr Pantami lamented in a sermon issued a few years ago when former President Goodluck Jonathan ramped up military operations against the rampaging terror sect.

As of the time of writing this report, #PantamiResign is the most trending topic on Twitter in Nigeria. 

Twitter user @ezugwu_onyii said, “Difficult to respect people who have no problem following a religious bigot who thinks Boko Haram are 'good folks' even after hearing they murdered our people. Our grandfather's fought extremists. they are not and never will be 'good folk'. #PantamiResign. Buhari we are tired. Emef."

Another user, @funshographix tweeted, “Isa Pantami once said 'Jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria'. He also said 'Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.' Isa Pantami shouldn't be in the government talkless of we saying #PantamiResign

“People like Isa are many in government.”

@chosensomto wrote: “I will not join you people and have that 'it was in the past' conversation because it’s same as arguing 'if a repented Boko Haram member can become a minister?' Terrorism is not a drinking habit you drop in the past; Pantami should resign immediately. #PantamiResign.”

A user, @royaltyuso, said despite calls for the sacking of the minister, the government should go the extra mile and ensure the safety of Nigerians' data, especially those who had registered to get their National Identity Numbers. 

He wrote, “Yes, #PantamiResign. But what if he leaves with all your data? You are still not safe! Access controls must be put in place immediately, and a full sweep of sensitive citizens data done to ensure they aren't being cloned or backed up somewhere asides from where they should be.

“Can the people who act on behalf of Buhari please put a total access restriction on Pantami? Place him on hold, suspend his ministerial powers and keep him away from the Ministry and in full offline status. Because we know Buhari is not aware. We can't wait on him. #PantamiResign.”

@dondekojo said: “Fact that a lot of moderates are quiet or defending Pantami after initially claiming Islamophobia may just prove the point that some terrorists enjoy protection from moderates. It’s been shameful to watch. Everybody must now demand his resignation #PantamiResign."

@theonly1acre stated: “Pantami is such a special son to Buhari, he was given the lee-way to change the Ministry of Communications to Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMoCDE) on the 17th of October, 2019. I want to see how the #PantamiResign turns out.”

@GodblessTubure said, “He said, 'I consider Osama Bin Laden a better Muslim than myself'. And you wonder if he won't make a US watchlist? #PantamiResign."

@Tina_tinny99 alleged that Nigerians data have been compromised hence #PantamiResign. He wrote, “Isa Pandemic is a terrorist. Our NIN BVN, SIM, Driving License, Voters Card, Intl Passport and other data have been compromised. #PantamiResign. NAF jets are crashing, BH is ambushing.”

@firstladyship stated, “Arewa jingoists swore Ijaw man won’t enjoy his presidency. Isa Pandemic was 'the crying sheikh,' back then. Pantami said & I quote; 'Ebele is depopulating the North.' They spared nothing against Goodluck Jonathan & NOI. Kemi Adeosun is one of their victims as well #PantamiResign.”

A user, @Obipheanyi opined that Pantami's appointment is as a result of poor vetting and lack of investigation of candidates by the Senate.

He said, “Pantami is the result of not properly vetting and investigating people by the Senate before they come into power. Or it could be that the Senate, presidency and Pantami are all wearing the same pants. #PantamiResign.”

@oyins_official said, “If Pantami (Minister of Digital Communications) linkage to Boko Haram and Al-Queda could be true, Nigeria is done for. This man has access to Nigerian citizens' details unless you don't link your NIN #PantamiResign.”

@LordNaydou wrote, ”This man is an extremist and he must resign. Buhari must see to the fact this man must Go. #PantamiResign."

Meanwhile, the Concerned Nigerians group has also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Pantami whom he appointed as the nation’s Minister of communications and digital economy.

The Civil Rights movement group on Thursday, in a post on its verified Twitter account, called on the Nigerian President to relieve Pantami of his position due to recent revelations about the minister which it described as frightening.

The tweet read, “We call on President @MBuhari to sack Nigeria’s Communications Minister, @DrIsaPantami now. 

“The recent revelations about his extreme religious views are not only shocking but frightening.”

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