The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, has debunked reports alleging that the United States placed him on a ‘terror watch list’ for alleged ties with the late Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf.
Pantami also stated that he will go into legal battle with the purveyors of the fake report.
A Social Media platform called “Newswire” had on Monday posted that the Minister of Communications has be placed under “Terror Watch List” by the United States Government. This tweet of theirs went viral immediately with many Nigerians taking to their social media handle to drag the Minister, calling him a terrorist.
The discussion went on for many hours making it the number one trend in Nigeria. Although many Nigerians were unable to confirm the story, there was a lot of people who expressed serious concerns that he is in charge of the NIMC database.
The Minister in a swift response swung into action and prompted the promoter of the News to express regrets for sharing such fake news.
Newswire in their tweet stated that they only copied the post from an Independent Nigeria publications without confirming the story.
“RETRACTION: Publication of Daily Independent Story alleging Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Sheikh Isa Pantami placed on Terror watch-list for alleged ties with Boko Haram Leader”, the social media body wrote.
Dr. Pantami thereafter wrote a series of tweets to express his unhappiness, the media unprofessionalism and his proposed legal action against “the major media” body.
He said: “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.
He also stated that he has been preaching against Boko Harm for 15 years.
“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.
Speaking further, the Minister vowed to continue with the NIN-SIM verification as it is one of the major strive to tackle insecurity in the country.
He said: “On the issue of NIN-SIM Verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as GOVERNMENT based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is SECURITY, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all. Let’s the sponsors continue.
He then concluded by saying that no amount of intimidation will stop him from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari.