By Egena Sunday Ode
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) did not discuss the allegations in public domain linking the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami’s to previous link with Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said.
There has been calls for Pantami’s resignation over the allegations.
Mohammed, who briefed newsmen after the Council meeting on Wednesday presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, said the issue was not raised at the meeting.
Pantami was among ministers who attended the weekly council meeting via a virtual arrangement.
Mohammed was asked by newsmen whether the Council discussed the matter during their closed door and whether the government was comfortable with burden on the nation’s reputation.
But the Minister responded thus: “I’m not going to go into the issue of whether government is comfortable or not. I will answer your questioned directly. It was not discussed at the council meeting.”
Specifically, Pantami who is caught in the web of the controversy over his unearthed comments endorsing both terrorists organizations, has however, announced that he has renounced the views.
He said during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja last Saturday that he now knows better about some of the comments he made in the past.
The embattled Pantami has, however, continued to maintain that the campaign against him is politically motivated.
“For 15 years, I have moved round the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have traveled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.
“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.
“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.
“I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager.
“I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later,” he had maintained.