The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has reacted to reports that the United States government has placed Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Isa Pantami on terror watchlist.
Reports had emerged on Sunday that Pantami had been placed on the list over alleged ties with Boko Haram leader.
The report claimed that the minister was said to be a close confidant of the late Mohammed Yusuf, the late leader of Boko Haram.
It also claimed that Pantami had ties with Abu Quatada al Falasimi and other Al-Qaeda leaders whom he revered and spoke highly of.
Reacting, HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, stated that it would not be shocked of the allegation of a serving minister having a link with terrorists because, according to it, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has clearly demonstrated open aversion and hatred for other religious groups other than the Islamic religion, going by the texture and colour of the appointments made by the government since 2015.
The group urged the United States of America to arrest the minister if the allegations are proven because President Buhari will protect him going by the government’s pro-Islamic tendencies and especially the crude fact that core Moslem Northerners head all heads of the Internal Security agencies in Nigeria including the Nigerian Intelligence Agency- the foreign wing of the nation’s intelligence.
HURIWA also recalled that Six Nigerians are facing prison terms of ten years to life after a federal appeals court in the United Arab Emirates upheld their convictions for funding the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
“It is unimaginable that a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria, is confronted by the possible impossibility that an elected civilian President who is a Muslim Northerner, has clearly defecated on the Nigerian Constitution by failing to adhere to the Federal Character Principle but has consistently picked Muslim Northerners to head all the Internal Security agencies in clear violations of section 14 (3) and 42 (1) of the Constitution. HURIWA is by this statement asking that any minister indicted for involvement with terrorists should be arrested by the United States of America because the Nigerian internal security forces have all but been handed over to members of just one Religion and Ethnicity in Nigeria, making it impossible for any indicted minister to be produced for trial, “the statement read in part.