Emerging report gathered from Twitter by Page 36, indicates that Nigerians are divided over trending videos and reports about the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami’s alleged ties with terrorist groups, Taliban, Boko Haram, and Al-Qaeda.
However, Dr. Pantami has denied links to extremist views, saying that criminals and other ‘entrenched interests’ are behind the recent attacks on him.
He explained that forces against the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government policy of compulsory National Identity Number, NIN, registration for all Nigerians, and those residing in the country, are behind the attacks against him.
The Minister also said that he has no issues with Christians, adding that his personal Driver, Secretary, and Technical Assistant, are all Christians.
Page 36 observed that various videos and reports have flooded the social media, which attracted the outrage of Nigerians requesting for the immediate resignation of the Minister.
In the wake of the now-debunked allegations, many Nigerians have cited fears over their security and privacy being compromised, due to the NIN details available to Dr. Pantami, whose Ministry heads the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC.
The hashtag, #PantamiResign, and counter-hashtag, #PantamiWillStay, have since been trending on Twitter, having over 20,000 retweets and 15,000 tweets respectively, as at the time of filing in this report.
Somto Onuchukwu said: “To intimidate Supreme Court Judges and subjugate the Judiciary, Buhari used DSS to break into the homes of 6 Judges across six States simultaneously at midnight; if Buhari was against Pantami’s beliefs and utterances, nobody needs to tell him what to do. #PantamiResign.”
Abubakar Hidima Ph.D tweeted: “Do you want to feel the hate by these people? Be a practicing Muslim, come from the North & successful like @DrIsaPantami. These three factors are enough to invite all the hate from these sons & daughters of perpetual anguish.”
Ayò-Bánkólé Akíntújoyè said: “If Isa Pantami does not resign, then the resignation of Kemi Adeosun was a huge joke. What is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander, except she was slaughtered on the altar of bigotry and ‘cabalisation’ of Nigerian politics. #PantamiResign.”
@MFaarees_wrote: “No Minister has ever achieved what Sheikh Pantami has so far achieved, but the hatred and bigotry from the other side won’t allow them to appreciate him simply because he’s a Muslim from Northern Nigeria. Na hypocrisy go kee una. #PantamiWillStay Insha Allah.
Al’ameen Yabo tweeted: “Enemies of Nigeria paid some people to trend #PantamiResign because they know his policies will help in ending insecurities. Only criminals hate Pantami because they don’t want to link NIN to their SIMS, they don’t want to be known or tracked down. #PantamiWillStay.”
Engr Yasir Arafat Jubril said: “The Northern Phenomenon @DrIsaPantami, giving Online and offline terrorists a sleepless night, ensuring a comprehensive database through NIN, securing the nation and placing it strategically for digital economy advancement. Tested and trusted, an achiever.”
Yusuf Abubakar tweeted: “Nobody is talking about the National Adopted School for Smart Education introduced by Dr Pantami. Unpatriotic individuals trending #PantamiResign too bad, #PantamiWillStay go and drink panadol and sleep. No going back on NIN- SIM linkage excercise.”
Micheal Akanji said: “Pantami has been productive for the Govt and our country at large, this #PantamiResign won’t last for days because the coordinated attacks are from the same children who have committed their lives & time in damaging Nigeria daily on their Timeline. Pantami will accomplish his portfolio.”