Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, has renounced his past controversial comments supporting terrorist groups including Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Pantami explained that he was young when he made the radical comments, adding that he is now mature and now knows better.
The Minister had come under fire over his alleged link with terrorist groups, with many Nigerians calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack him.
The Nigerian Twitter community also said the minister could not be trusted with the data of Nigerians, especially with the ongoing National Identification Number and Subscriber Identity Module integration exercise under his watch.
But the minister who spoke while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, said he has moved around the country educating people about the dangers of terrorism for 15 years.
“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,” PUNCH quoted him as saying.
“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,” Daily Trust quoted Pantami as saying.