Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who has been accused of having links to terrorist groups, in his sermons in the 2000s prayed for “victory” for Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan as it has unfolded in the past few days.
Pantami, who recently said he had denounced his allegiance to the Boko Haram, however, expressed support for the global extremist groups — the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
In one of his sermons in the 2000s, Pantami had prayed, saying, “This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria… Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm al Qā‘ida).
Also, in a 2019 academic document ‘Debating Boko Haram,’ Pantami had invited muslims, especially “Ahlus Sunna” (Salafis), to be sceptical of politicians and religious leaders calling for peace and understanding but they should retaliate with Jihad.
“This jihad is an obligation for every single believer, especially in Nigeria (hādhā jihād farḍ ‘ayn ‘ala kull Muslim wa-khuṣūṣan fī Nījīriyā),” he added.
Top journal publisher academia.edu published the research in March 2019, several months before Buhari tapped Pantami as a minister.
The speech, which is about 20 minutes long, concluded with the prayer, “Oh God, give victory to the Taliban and to al-Qaeda (Allahumma’ nṣur Ṭālibān wa-tanẓīm alQā‘ida).”
“During his speech, Pantami is in tears, and his voice is often broken by sighs. The genuineness of his emotional response to what was, without doubt, a dramatic episode in the history of violent conflict in Plateau state is obvious,” said the report.
In a second speech, delivered in 2006, Pantami offered his public condolences for the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Zarqawi.
“May God have mercy on Aḥmad alFāḍil al-Khalayleh, raḥmatullāh’ alayhi. May God forgive his mistakes. He is a human being. He has certainly some mistakes in front of God, so may God forgive his mistakes. Who am I talking about? He is Abū Muṣ‘ab al-Zarqāwī.
“He was born in 1966 of the Christian era, that is forty years ago. […] After some time, he was given responsibility for a camp in Herat. It was the Commander of the Faithful (Amīr almu’minīn) Mollah Omar ‒ may God preserve him ‒ who personally gave him the authority to run this camp.”
The document noted Pantami as further saying, “To this date, in the community of the Prophet we have some awesome people, people of awesome faith, who follow the creed of the Sunna and thanks to whom the enemies of God are unable to find rest in this world.
“They have killed the Shaykh, the martyr Abdallah Yusuf Azzam ‒ may God have mercy on him ‒ but did the struggle end? They went on to strike Chechnya, and they killed many of them: did it end? […] Whenever one goes, another one comes, and he is even more awesome than the first,” Pantami added.
SaharaReporters had on April 16 reported that Pantami denounced any allegiance to the Boko Haram and the al-Qaeda.
The minister had claimed on Twitter that his lectures “against the doctrines and all other evil people (terrorists) have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria.”