More than 30,000 Nigerians on social media have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over his alleged link with terrorist groups, Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The Nigerian Twitter community also said the minister could not be trusted with the data of Nigerians, especially with the ongoing National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module integration exercise under his watch.
In a viral video recorded many years ago, which his lawyer, Michael Numa, later confirmed, the minister was seen engaging the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in a public debate.
Pantami, an Islamic scholar, had also once declared that he was always happy when infidels were massacred.
The hashtag #PantamiResign has since been trending online, having over 30,000 retweets as of Friday evening.
@YemieFASH wrote, "A terrorist apologist is not worthy of being a government official. #PantamiResign"
"This Pantami issue is far more serious than we treat it to be. I had this nightmare last night where Boko Haram had the data and location details of every single Nigerian, including the president. Pantami has to resign and answer the law. We're in danger!! #PantamiResign," @MOMPERE55 stated.
@mrflairr also tweeted, "Whether Nigeria is a serious country or not, we are calling for the resignation of Pantami immediately. All of us need to make this trend and put pressure on the government to achieve this. #PantamiResign"
"Pantami having access to NIN of all Nigerian citizens is the same thing as Osama Bin Laden having access to our homes, especially the kitchen…Pantami resignation is not an attack on the Arewa people; it's a preventive measure to kill Osama Bin Laden again. #PantamiResign" wrote @Ugonna37489321.
@DrOlufunmilayo, however, said President Muhammadu Buhari, who returned to the country on Thursday from London, might not be aware of the calls for the resignation of the minister.
"The funny thing about this whole #PantamiResign situation is that Buhari may not even be aware at all," the user tweeted.