The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has thrown its weight in support of Isa Pantami, the embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy over his alleged ties with Terror groups.
The Muslim body warned that some groups and individuals are “beating the drums of war”, in efforts to bring down Pantami.
This declaration is coming just hours after the Presidency made known through a statement by Garba Shehu, a Presidential spokesperson, that it “stands” by Isa Pantami in light of the damning allegations against the minister.
Salisu Shehu, the Deputy Secretary General of NSCIA, while answering questions over a document that claimed that Pantami and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, had, in a meeting in Bauchi in 2012, strategised on how to eliminate Yakowa who was the first Christian governor of Kaduna State, said the document was concocted to put Pantami and the Muslim community in a bad light as well as cause a crisis between Christians and Muslims.
Shehu also stated that Pantami was not a member of JNI and therefore, could not have chaired the group’s meeting at any point in time.
In a related development, Ishaq Oloyede, the Secretary General of the NSCIA said the plot was cooked up b “bigots who are desperate to pull Pantami down.”
“It should be disregarded because the intention of those who fabricated it is to portray Islam in bad light and cause division between Muslims and Christians in the country,” Oloyede said.
“JNI will respond on its own. But as an official of NSCIA, I am in a position to tell you that the gentleman (Pantami) was not in Nigeria at the time they said the meeting held.
“He was in the UK. So, how could he have presided over a meeting in Nigeria at the same time?
“Secondly, Pantami has never been an official of JNI. So in what capacity would he have presided over the group’s meeting?
“That’s not possible. If there’s someone who could have presided over such a meeting, the person could have been Salisu Shehu.
“Any discerning Muslim or Christian should know that this is a clear case of forgery. The content of the so-called communique is contrary to Islamic beliefs and teachings.
“An association like JNI can never hold a meeting to plan the killing of anyone or the commission of crimes.
“Islam is a religion of peace. Those circulating this falsehood are clearly committed to sparking crisis and violence in Nigeria. Government should fish them out and bring them to book.”