The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali-Pantami, is not on the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation’s watchlist, findings by PRNigeria revealed.
A report by Daily Independent had claimed that the United States had placed the minister on their terror watchlist over alleged ties with Boko Haram founder, Late Mohammed Yusuf.
The minister had threatened legal action against the newspaper.
But investigations into the official website of the FBI revealed that the minister’s name was nowhere to be found in the FBI’s list of ‘Most Wanted Terrorists, Fugitives or other Criminals’.
Further, the U.S Embassy in Nigeria could not confirm the allegation.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Advocates for Digital Reporting, NADIR, has condemned what it described as sensational and speculative media reports unleashed on the personality of the minister.
The group, in a statement on Tuesday by its Coordinator, Mohammed Dahiru-Lawal, described the report as a desperate attempt to stop him on his transformative tracks by linking him up to terrorist associations.
Mr Dahiru-Lawal noted that it is a known fact the terrorist groups like Boko Haram has continuously threatened the life of the minister for introducing policies that seek to frustrate terrorist activities through his Ministry arguing that it is therefore ironic for the same personality to be associated with terrorism.
“First, the so-called report tried to establish a nexus between his alleged ties to terrorism and study in Saudi Arabia wherein Pantami studied in Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the United States of America, not Saudi Arabia.
“While the report failed to mention the official US Institution that allegedly placed him on a ‘terrorist watchlist,’ or backs its claims with a credible, verifiable and identifiable source, it tried hard to associate him with Boko Haram’s founder, Mohammad Yusuf in an old video in which Pantami was actually debating against Yusuf’s ideology of forbidding western education,” the group said.
The group maintained that the Ministry of Communication was sleepy until Pantami took over and championed re-designation of the Ministry’s Name to include responsibilities for creating and formulating Policies for a sustainable Digital Economy for Nigeria which has achieved remarkable successes as reflected in the seventy-two pages compendium of achievements released to mark the one year of the Ministry’s existence.
NADIR, therefore, urged Nigerians not to be gulled by rumours and flat out lies that are meant to distract attention from the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy laudable projects which is gradually placing the country on the path of glory.