Social media users engaged in a heated debate on Monday in reaction to news reports alleging that Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, is on a United States terrorism watch list.
The report which was published on Sunday by a local media outlet claimed Pantami who is a former student of Salafist ideologies, had ties with top Islamic jihadists like late leader of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf and other Al-Qaeda leaders whom he revered and spoke highly of.
The report also claimed that the Minister held dangerous views against the American government, prior to his appointement in 2019 by President Buhari and substantiated their claims with an old video showing Pantami debating with the late Boko Haram founder, late Mohammed Yusuf.
The development, considered highly disturbing by most Nigerians instigated reactions and debates online as calls for a thorough investigation into the matter by the Nigerian government heightened.
Things took another turn, when the newspaper which had published the report retracted it and apologised. But the deed had been done, and many Nigerians reacted, with many fearing for the safety of their National Identification Numbers (NIN) domiciled in the ‘hands’ of the minister who oversees the registration exercise.
But reacting to the allegations and consequent apology via his official Twitter handle, Pantami while condemning the report as a case of character defamation wrote:
“@NewsWireNGR, your RETRACTION through your independent investigation has been noted. However, Investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after. Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in the court on this defamation of character.
“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” he wrote
See reactions below:
As the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, Isa Pantami has access to all of our data.
A terrorist with our data is very dangerous and unacceptable!
— Anambra 1st son💭 (@UchePOkoye) April 12, 2021
Buhari Said "Attack On Boko Haram Is An Attack On The North!"
Nasir El-Rufai said "Anyone, soldier or not that kills the Fulani takes a loan repayable one day no matter how long it takes."
Isa Pantami. Sheikh Gumi. Muhammadu Buhari. Nasir. ETC. ARE VERY APOLOGETIC TO TERRORISM!
— Mazi @FestusGreen 🇳🇬 (@FestusGreen) April 12, 2021
US: There's not enough evidence that prove that there was a lekki massacre.
Twitter NG: Why must we listen to the US? Why must the US tell us what is true or not?
US: There's a possible connection between Isa Pantami and BH.
Twitter NG: The US cannot lie. It's definitely true
— 𝐌𝐔𝐁𝐀𝐑𝐀𝐊🗽 (@EmperorTwiTs) April 12, 2021
U jez spoke my mind….can u imagine Nigerians are easily manipulated same US dat told us lekki massacre was a mirage
— Omo iyatunde🕊️ (@Cyril_kay_cyril) April 12, 2021
Wait, so we are really not going to insist that Isa Pantami step down until the allegations are investigated and he is officially cleared?
Is that not the precedent Buhari's govt set for the removal of the CJN that year?
— Ayo Sogunro (@ayosogunro) April 12, 2021
1) @NewsWireNGR your RETRACTION through your independent investigation,has been noted. However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after.
Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in the court on this defamation of character. https://t.co/08W3dP4tlf
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) April 12, 2021
After linking Dr. Isa Pantami with Boko Haram and Al Qaeda don't forget to link your NIN to your line.
— YALWATY (@AB_Abdulhafiz) April 12, 2021
Ada Jesus, Rita Edochie, Odumeje
The trio took independent spots on Twitter’s trends chart, Monday after Nollywood actress, Rita Edochie shared a video on her Instagram page, stating that she had now forgiven ailing comedienne, Mercy Ginikachukwu Cynthia, popularly known as Ada Jesus, hours after vowing never to forgive her.
She noted that she took the decision after heeding to pleas from her fans to pardon the younglady who she claimed went about soiling her reputation and that of controversial Nigerian prophet, Chukwuemeka Odumeje.
Ada Jesus who is currently down with kidney disease had reportedly accused the actress and the prophet of staging miracles in their church.
The actress further advised the younglady and others of her ilk to desist from speaking ill of men of God, especially prophet Odumeje.
Nigerians reacted thus:
A Lesson For All. Have Your Facts Ready Or Face The Consequences Of Trying To Ruin Another Man All In The Name Of.. “Cruise”.
— Just Strauss 🦜 (@CivilisedParrot) April 12, 2021
I weak. She can't sit in front of a standing fan in church
— legal Savage (@oh_sir_Dion) April 12, 2021
Some people & their delusional sense of confidence. Rita Edochie & Odumeje are clowns https://t.co/tjP3BYI3cm
— Mr Dee (@Devcron5) April 12, 2021
"Rita Edochie" forgiving Jesus pic.twitter.com/xJkcEemoM9
— sekeghTER (@sezzz_g) April 12, 2021
Lol. Just pray make nobody do you juju sha. All this shalaye na online
— Future Billionaire 😌 (@HarvardsTweets) April 12, 2021
Rita Edochie, Odumeje & Ada Jesus are all entertainers. All I see is a campaign to promote Indaboski's ministry. True Christianity left Nigeria long before I was born. If humans have the powers to cast sickness upon others, the earth would be empty by now.
— Sammy Sammy (@scad_official) April 12, 2021
This Onyeala's family are begging the wrong people..they should focus on this Ken guy…no way someone will threaten my family and I like this and we will keep quiet… Odiro possible.@Fairly_Usedd @Salttybarber @Kene_Nnewi
Bia furu rubbish si this Onyeala na onu aputa pic.twitter.com/ci8M8qVOSL
— Eze Udene Umunri (@AdannaPapa) April 12, 2021
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