Nigeria’s Communications Minister Isa Pantami has denied links to any terrorist organization and reporters of ethnic and religious bigotry.
The embattled minister has disclosed that his personal driver, secretary and technical assistant are all Christians.
Naija News recalls that recently, Pantami has been linked with terrorism which he has blatantly denied and the allegations were withdrawn but again, there have been renewed calls for his sack by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reacting in an interview with PeoplesGazette on Friday, Pantami said he has never had issues with his Christian aides, friends and associates of many years.
The minister, who is also an Islamic cleric, added that recent reports of his past controversial comments were misconstrued.
He said: “My personal driver is Mai Keffi, a practising Christian. I also have a Christian, Ms Nwosu, as my secretary and Dr Femi, also a Christian, as my technical adviser.
“If I did not like Christians or I did not see them as my brothers and sisters, I would not have been working with them for so long.
“I employed more Christians than Muslims on my staff because I believe in merit and competence over ethnic or tribal sentiments.
“I have never condoned terrorism and I reject any affiliation to terror groups,” the minister added. “I have long preached peaceful coexistence amongst people of every faith and ethnicity.”
Isa Pantami stated that his teachings over the years were rooted in peace and tolerance.
“I have always preached peace and tolerance,” the minister said. “In some cases, I was attacked by my fellow Muslims for supporting my Christian brothers and sisters.”
According to him, the Italian authors of the academic paper that chronicled his Salafi teachings as a bulwark of radical views amongst university students in the North had misrepresented him by failing to reach out to him before concluding the papers.
“They did their research but failed to contact me and sit down with me for an interview before publishing their papers,” Pantami said. “It is possible they used a translator that did not understand Hausa or just did not like me.”