Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has placed a curse on the convener of human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju for asking the United States to place him on terrorism watchlist.
Adeyanju had in a letter dated April 11, 2021, with the subject, ‘Terrorist Watchlist – Isa Pantami’ and addressed to the Secretary of State, United States Department of State, pointed out that Pantami being a senior member of Muhammadu-Buhari-led administration, it was less expected of him to be an alleged supporter of world’s extremist leaders like Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden, and if the allegation is true “he should not hold a sensitive position and be in charge of the database of Nigerians.”
The letter reads in part, “We write to intimate you of remarks attributed to Sheik Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Communications Minister in several media blogs in the country wherein he was quoted as saying he was always happy whenever unbelievers are killed by terrorist groups.
“It is also 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. 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.”
However, some followers and supporters of the minister declared Adeyanju an enemy of Islam.
In a post on Facebook, one Datti Assalafiy wrote, “The non-Muslim, Deji Adeyanju, hates Islam and Muslims, supports the abuse of Islam and Muslims on his social media.
“He is one of the enemies of Nigeria’s peace that has won a contract to spread the #ENDSARS crisis on social media which has cost Nigeria more than N3 trillion.
“He is the one who has now written a letter of complaint to the US Embassy in Abuja, requesting that the United States place Sheikh Dr Isa Ali Pantami on a list of people responsible for terrorist activities around the world, and that the embassy accepted his complaint.
“No matter the fate and destiny, there is nothing to associate with these pagans who hate us all the time and their parents.
“O Allah, show this pagan one of your verses, may Allah grant him a long life in hardship and humility to witness the glory of Malam Isa Ali Pantami and the Muslims in Nigeria. Amen Yaa Hayyu Yaa Qayyum.”
Commenting on the post with his verified Facebook page, Pantami wrote in Hausa, “Allah ya tsine masa alubarika” which means “May Allah rebuke his blessings.”
The minister comment which gathered over 350 replies was, however, deleted few minutes after.
Pantami has been under fire since the visual and audio clips of some of his teachings resurfaced over a decade later, some of which showed he was sympathetic to Islamic extremist sects like Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
Meanwhile, Concerned Nigerians group has condemned the declaration by some Muslims that the convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, is an ‘enemy of Islam’.
A statement by the group’s spokesperson, Theophilus Abu Agada, on Monday, condemned in “strong terms” the threats against Adeyanju over the group’s petition to American Embassy to investigate allegations of terrorism and extremist views against Pantami.