Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital economy, has denied having any link with the Boko Haram insurgent group as alleged in some viral reports.
The minister said he has been preaching against the doctrines of Boko Haram and similar groups, endangering his life in the process.
“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,” he wrote via his Twitter handle on Monday.
“By the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop @IsaPantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”
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
The minister was reacting to an unconfirmed report by Daily Independent that the United States government allegedly placed him on a watchlist for reported links with Mohammed Yusuf, the founder of Boko Haram.
The news platform did not provide any source of the claim other than citing the “America’s Intelligence Service.”
We could not verify the information; official sources including the US embassy in Nigeria have not responded to enquiries regarding the issue.
A video featuring Pantami and Yusuf is also being shared online to back claims in the news report.
But the video, which can be found here, is of a debate between the duo in which the minister was educating the late Boko Haram leader against the group’s extremist anti-western education ideologies.