The Nigeria’s minister of communication and digital economy, Isa Pantami, is under fire by social media users and the main opposition party over controversial comments he allegedly made in the past in support of global extremist groups, including Boko Haram.
The minister has denied any links with terror groups.
Local media had reported that one of Nigeria’s most active cabinet ministers was allegedly “on the watch list of the America’s Intelligence Service.” This triggered massive reactions from Nigerians.
Mr Pantami denied the claim and threatened to sue the newspaper. The news site immediately retracted the story.
But one week after, the story has refused to go away.
There have been growing calls by Nigerians on social media for the minister to resign or be sacked after users recalled his earlier clips and posts on social media stating conversations that allegedly supported the extremist groups.
This has been amplified by the country’s main opposition, the People’s Democratic Party. The party alleges that information in the public space suggests that Mr Pantami is a sympathiser of Boko Haram and other extremist groups.
The BBC called the minister’s office for his reaction to these calls for his resignation but was told that there was no response from the minister at the moment.
As pressures appear to mount on the minister for explanation, he has denied links with extremist groups. During an Islamic lecture on Saturday, he said that he has never held extremist views nor maintained rigid stances on issues.