“DSS has call on federal government over alleged PANTAMI’S extremist alligation”

Denis Amachree, the former Assistant Director of State services has said that the secret police informed 
the federal government and the National Assembly of the previous Radical Pro-Taliban views of embattled Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Isa Pantami before his confirmation as Minister in 2019.
According to Federal Executive Council (FEC) 
Alleged that the link of the Minister with the deadly terrorist Al-Qaeda and Taliban some years ago was not deliberated at the meeting yesterday. 
This is came up a day  minority leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, at plenary moved for immediate resignation of the Minister Isa Pantami for showing sympathy to the gravery activities of insurgents. 
Pantami a former Director-General the National information Technology Development Agency NITDA, is the only member of Federal Executive Council from Gombe state. 
Amechree said the minister should resign that it is difficult to deradicalise some one of his kind. 
He further opined that DSS has information on all individuals of interest, and that the minister’s previously extremist views were directed to the Federal Government and the Legislator.
Saing that, there is no information hidden from the DSS we have all of it, all.
“When I worked there we keep a catalogue of any body of interest that comes up to limelight in this country.
“During the vetting process for any body to be appointed as a minister, a commissioner or any position your name is sent to the DSS for vetting they check your background down to your grandmother’s.
“They scrutinize your school up to the extent of your primary and of course they keep a tab online and offline.
“We get alot from open source intelligence and I can tell you that in Pantami’s case, we have it but there is a political angle to it. 
When somebody is being appointed, if the security agencies found out that there is something wrong with his name they will send it back to the appointing agency. 
“the appointing agency will now decide amongst other variables either religion or political variables and say that, “oh! yes, we know that this guy has this and that but let’s appoint him. 
” so the political decision is not being taken by the SSS. Even when you go to the senate for confirmation, you will there is party by party and you can see that are some political candidates 
that the opposition party will say that this one will not be appointed because he belong to that party, they will appoint him. 
“So these are polical and federal balancing where they will say there is no body from this place that has been appointed, so let’s appoint him. 
The former DSS director who alleged that the United States of America was gathering information on the Minister. 
Said “he, Pantami has just submitted his name into the US data base, the cataloguing of people is not automatic so it comes in drips and drops. 
Now people are talking about him and that has drawn the attention of the United States Embassy in Nigeria already. 
Now they will do a deeper dive into his background, they will catalogue him and now they will start watching him and if it comes to a very critical level, they will place him on a no-fly zone. 
Also yesterday the Federal Executive Council (FEC), said the minister’s alleged  link with Al-Qaeda and Taliban some years ago was not discussed at his meeting. 
The minister of information and culture Alahji Lai Mohammed, who briefed the state house correspondent at the end of the council meeting presided president Muhammadu Buhari at the council chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, said that the issue was not raised at the meeting. 
Pantami was not physically at the meeting but attended virtually from his office. 
Fielding questions on whether the council discussed the matter and government was comfortable with its burden on his image. 
Alahji Lai Mohammed said, I’m not going to go into the issue as whether government is comfortable or not. I will answer your questions directly, it was not discussed at the council meeting. 
Pantami who have been embroiled his controversies over his previous comments endorsing terrorists has, however announced that he had renounced his views. 
He said during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor mosque in Abuja that he now knew better about some of the comments he made in the past. 
Pantami had posited that the campaign against him was politically motivated, saying for, 15 years I have moved around the country educating people About the dangers in terrorism. 
I have traveled to Katsina, Gombe, and Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism. 
“I have engaged those with boko haram idiologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic languages. 
I have manage to bring up young persons who have deraild from the right path. 
” some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding on religious issues at the time and I have changed my positions in the past based on new evidence and maturity. 
“I was young when I made some of those comments, I was in the university when some of comments was made I was a teenager. 
“I started preaching when I was 13 years old, some of the scholars and individuals did not understand some of the international events, and therefore, took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later”. 
“meanwhile, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, yesterday called for the immediate resignation of Isa Pantami for showing sympathy for gravery activities of insurgents.
Replying under the matters of privilege, Elumelu asked the house to cause a debate on the issue, particularly demanding Pantami exit from office. 
Elumelu said, Pantami’s apology did not hold water, saying even the Minister has apologized for his previous links with terrorists. 
He said “Mr speaker my privilege borders on one of the serving ministers called Sheik Ali Isa Ibrahim Pantami. He is the Minister for communication and digital economy the federal republic. 
And the portfolio he currently occupies gives him the lattitude to administer, coordinate and manage sensitive information within and outside the shores of Nigeria. 
“Mr speaker they have been insinuations that he has direct links and personally subscribs to the extreme Islamic beliefs of Al-Qaeda, Taliban and Boko haram sects. 
Evidence compelling the cyber space lays strong credence to a relationship and existing collaboration between him and the deceased Yemen Terrorist. 
“Recently, Mr speaker while the Minister was answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture a couple of days ago he owned up that he took extreme positions in support of the brutal exploits of Al-Qaeda and Taliban out of ignorance, claiming that he was young when he did that but now he is matured. 
“Mr speaker I feel it will be out of place for me to seat here and allow this chamber not to speak about it and totally call for  his resignation or suspension. 
“Rulling on the matter, the speaker, the Femi gbajabiamila who presided over the plenary, faulted Elumelu a point of privilege without showing how his privilege were breached. 
This however came, when many members  have indicated interest to speak on the matter. 
Usually, such issues are presented as a formal motion to be debated but Elumelu came under point of personal privilege, prompting a technicality to it. 
“I think you came under the wrong order. But your point of order is well noted. 
As you know, we don’t debate such issues, if it comes under privilege. Thank you”. Gbajabiamila said. 


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