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Pro-Al-Qaeda views: PDP wants Pantami sacked, asks DSS to probe him

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, over his earlier views supporting terror groups.

 

The party also asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to investigate the minister over the comments made in support of groups like the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

 

In videos from the 2000s, Pantami, who is a known Islamic scholar, was reported to have said that while he was against the extremist anti-western ideologies of Boko Haram, he supports some of what Al-Qaeda and Taliban had preached.

 

But the minister recanted the comments on Saturday, saying that he has “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 the international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later,” he had said.

 

Despite renouncing the views, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, said in a statement on Sunday that the party is concerned that such views could compromise sensitive government documents.

 

“Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles,” Ologbondiyan said.

 

“The PDP is particularly worried about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN (national identification number) registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.”

 

The party asked the DSS to investigate the alleged compromise while urging citizens to stay alert.

 

Like the PDP, many Nigerians have also been calling on the minister to resign.

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