The Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning and investigation over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
According to Kola Ologbodiyan, spokesman for the party, he said: “Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communications 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.
The party’s position was contained in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday.
He stated that the PDP is particularly concerned about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the National Identification Number (NIN) registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.
“The party tasks the DSS to investigate the allegation, which has created apprehension, particularly given the rise in banditry and other terrorist activities in our country.
“The PDP urges Nigerians to remain at alert and very sensitive to their environment, while not hesitating in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation,” the statement read.
The minister, on Saturday however, denied having any ties with terrorist groups or ethnic and religious bigotry, saying he employed more Christians than muslims as members of his staff.
Pantami, a Muslim cleric, said he had never had issues with his Christian aides, friends and associates of many years
He had stated this in an interview with Peoples Gazette on Friday evening, amidst the raging controversies of recent reports that the minister is linked to terrorist groups going by his past controversial Islamic teachings.
“My personal driver is Mai Keffi, a practising Christian. I also have a Christian, Ms Nwosu, as my secretary and Dr Femi, also a Christian, as my technical adviser.
“If I did not like Christians or I did not see them as my brothers and sisters, I would not have been working with them for so long. I employed more Christians than Muslims on my staff because I believe in merit and competence over ethnic or tribal sentiments.
“I have never condoned terrorism and I reject any affiliation to terror groups. I have long preached peaceful coexistence amongst people of every faith and ethnicity,” he had stated.
The minister has come under public pressure to resign after audio and video recordings of his controversial comments alongside excerpts of an academic paper that explored his preachings across northern parts of the country between the early and mid-2000s were published.