Isa Pantami Renounces Controversial Comment About Terrorist Group
Communication Minister Isa Pantami has renounced some of the controversial comments he made in the past that showed he supported Islamic extremist views.
Mr Pantami has been under fire since the clips of some of his lectures resurfaced over a decade later, some of which showed he was sympathetic to extremist sects like Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
The clips quickly caught online frenzy as many Nigerians demanded that the minister resign.
Others tore into the minister asking him to clarify the statements or at the least renounce them if truly his opinion has evolved.
While responding to questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Anoor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, the minister, an Islamic cleric, said his position on the subject has since changed, Daily Trust reported.
He noted that his position on the subject was based on the information he had at the time, some of which were the consensus opinion among clerics in northern Nigeria at the dawn of the faceoff between the West and some Islamic countries in the early mid-2000s.
“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,” Daily Trust quoted him as saying.
“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.”
The minister nonetheless doubled down on his comment that some of the criticism he had received in the past days were politically motivated.