Terrorism Watchlist’: Daily Independent Retracts, Apologises to Pantami; MURIC, Other React 

The Daily Independent newspaper has retracted its story and apologised to Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami over its publication alleging that Pantami was placed on the terrorism watchlist of the United States Government.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, 13 April, 2021 which was signed by its editor, the medium noted that it has realised that the information contained in the story has not been verified to be true.

“Our attention has been drawn to the story with the above title, published in the Sunday Independent newspaper of April 11, 2021. We have since realized that the information contained in the story has not been verified to be true. The Minister mentioned in the story, Alhaji Isa Ali Ibrahim, also known as Sheikh Pantami, is not known to be on American Terror Watch List, nor is he linked to terror organisations. We regret and sincerely apologise for the embarrassment our story has caused the Honourable Minister whom we hold in high regard,” Editor, Daily Independent wrote.

Furthermore, checks on its website revealed that the medium has taken the story down from its Publications.

This retraction has come after PRNigeria published findings of its Investigation revealed that the Embassy of the United States of America in Abuja could not confirm the allegation levelled against the Minister by the Newspaper.

Responding to a request for clarification over a media report linking the Minister to terrorism, the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy could not provide any information but referred PRNigeria to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency.

Further investigation via the official website of FBI, Pantami’s name was nowhere to be found in the list of Most Wanted Terrorists, Fugitives or other Criminals.

The Nigerian Advocates for Digital Reporting (NADIR) has condemned as sensational and speculative media reports unleashed on the personality Pantami in what it described as a desperate attempt to stop him on his transformative tracks by linking him up to terrorist associations.

Meanwhile, Muslims Rights Concern (MURIC) says a report linking Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami with terrorism is fake news.

Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director, MURIC said this in a statement in Abuja.

“Our attention has been drawn to a trending report that Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy is on the U.S. watch list for having links with terrorists. It is fake news. It is a lie from the pit of Jahannam.

“It is a product of malice, envy and evil desire concocted in the laboratory of the notorious pull him down syndrome. It exists only in the imagination of the authors of the evil plan, It will not stand the test of authenticity,” he said.

Akintola extolled the expertise and dedication of Pantami to his duties as minister and member of Federal Executive Council.

“Pantami is an honest, diligent and uncommon Islamic scholar whose ability to combine his discipline with digital expertise has raised him above his peers and made him an indispensable asset to this country. It is only people with diseased minds, who do not want progress for Nigeria that can make such malicious yet false allegation against him.

“We have been reading Pantami’s articles and watching his lecture videos long before he became minister, and on no occasion did he pour encomiums on terrorists or their aides. On the contrary, he always condemned violence and terrorism. Therefore, those who claim that he ‘spoke glowingly’ of associates of terrorist leaders are apostles of Lucifer and pathological liars,” Akintola said.

By PRNigeria

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