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The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked the Department of State Services, DSS, to as a matter of urgency, invite and probe the minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over alleged ties with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Sunday by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.
It read, “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 PDP is particularly worried 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.”
Pantami had on Saturday debunked any links with terrorist groups, noting he had more Christians as staff than Muslims.
The minister 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, said he had maintained cordial relationship with his Christian aides, friends and associates of many years.
He said, “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.”
Pressure had been mounted on the minister to resign his position after audio and video recordings of his contentious comments across northern parts of the country between the early and mid-2000s came to limelight.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.