Pantami: Adeyanju Petitions US Over Terror Watchlist

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The Convener, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, has petitioned the US Secretary of State, demanding an investigation into allegations that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Nigeria, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami was sympathetic towards terrorists and held extremist views.

Adeyanju in the petition dated April 11, 2021, and obtained by The Herald today, urged the US government not to hesitate to place the minister on its terror watchlist if found guilty of the allegations levelled against him.

The petition sent through the US Ambassador to Nigeria was titled, ‘Terrorist Watchlist – Isa Pantami’.

The activist alluded to an online news report, that has now been deleted, which alleged that the notable Islamic cleric expressed gladness whenever unbelievers were killed.

“It is further alleged that he had in the past openly supported and endorsed global terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and the Talibans.

“Pantami is said to have praised Osama Bin Laden describing him as a hero and a better Muslim than himself.

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“He has not renounced these views in the face of new revelations by the media.

“His views are extremist views and a threat to a multi-religious nation like Nigeria.

“As a senior member of President Buhari’s regime and we are of the view that a supporter of Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden should not hold a sensitive position and be in charge of the database of Nigerians,” the petition read in part.

Adeyanju said he was sure that the minister would not resign nor be sacked by the president despite “public outcry”.

“We implore you to investigate these allegations and if true place him on your terror watchlist immediately.

“Those who express extremist views remain a threat to world peace as they support mass murder of both Christians and Muslims globally,” the petition further read.

The petition followed a report by Daily Independent, which in its Sunday, April 11 edition reported that Pantami was placed on a terror watchlist by US intelligence services.

However, the paper did not name which of the intelligence services in the US came up with the watchlist.

Meanwhile, Pantami had in a letter dated 12th April, 2021 and signed by his lawyer, Michael Numa Esq., which was addressed to Daily Independent Newspaper, demanded that the report be retracted within 24 hours in five national newspapers and five global media.

He said he was among the first set of Islamic scholars to oppose the extremist views of Founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf.

The Herald can confirm that the online version of the story has been pulled down from Daily Independent’s website.

A fact check by Premium Times newspaper backed the minister’s assertions and refuted claims of his inclusion on a US government terror watchlist.

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