The leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has warned that there are no repentant terrorists.
Kanu was referring to the alleged ties of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, with terrorism.In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Kanu alleged that terrorism is a form of Islamic ideology, as well as a religious duty for every Muslim that believes in the holy war, Jihad.
He wrote, “In case you forgot, terrorism is a form of #Islamic ideology, as well as a religious duty for every Muslim that believes in Jihad. Therefore, there can never be anything like a repentant terrorist, not even some minister named Isa Pantami (@DrIsaPantami). Please be guided. I am.”
Many Nigerians have called for the sacking or resignation of Pantami after some comments he made some years ago came into light which supported Islamic extremism.
“We are all happy whenever unbelievers are killed,” Pantami once said as an Islamic scholar and cleric.
He also hailed Osama Bin Laden, who orchestrated the terrorist attacks on United States soil on September 11, 2001, saying the terrorist “is a better Muslim than myself.”
Pantami once also condemned Muslims who took up government positions, saying he would never join politics or take up a role in government.
An audio recording of Pantami’s past teachings where he declared support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban also surfaced last week, generating debates on social media platforms with many Nigerians calling for his sacking and others defending him.
He, however, renounced his radical comments in support of Islamic extremism.
The minister said he was young when he made the radical comments, adding that he was now mature and knew better.
He spoke while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday.
He was quoted to have said: “For 15 years, I have moved around the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have travelled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in the Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.
“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.
“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.
“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 the international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”