- The highest Islamic body in the country has expressed disgust over a report linking the group to murder
- The Jama’atu Nasril Islam stated that documents suggesting it held a meeting to murder a former governor are false
- A spokesman of the group lamented that recent campaigns against Dr. Isa Pantami are dangerous
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, Nigeria's foremost Islamic group under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto has lamented over what it calls the smear campaign against Dr Isa Pantami.
The minister of communications and digital economy has been at the centre of a controversy linking him to international terror groups due to his comments in the past.
The JNI said the calls for Pantami's sack or resignation has degenerated into wild allegations and orchestrated lies.
The JNI's position was contained in a statement seen by Legit.ng and issued on Friday, April 23 by Sheikh Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, secretary-general of the organisation.
The JNI expressed its disgust that its name is being dragged into an alleged plot to assassinate the late Governor Yakowa of Kaduna state.
Some media reports had alleged Pantami chaired a JNI meeting where there was a plot to eliminate Yakowa.
In refuting the allegation, the JNI said:
“We thought the plot against Sheikh Pantami is politically motivated, but surprisingly it is assuming to be a more sinister dimension born out of a well-thought-out scheme designed to smear and tarnish the image and the good name of the JNI and other Muslim organizations.
“Considering the various concerns raised by many citizens, vis’-a’- vis the attendant consequence of the scandalous allegation, we wish to place on record and for posterity that such never occurred and the JNI does not operate in such a dubious manner.”
Similarly, the Coalition of North East Groups has declared that those against Pantami are enemies of northern Nigeria.
The group also accused the Nigerian media of bias in its reportage of the travails of the embattled minister.
In a statement by its northeast zonal coordinator and northeast zonal secretary, Abubakar Modire and Shuaibu Gidado, the group alleged that no stone is being left unturned to sustain what it called a campaign of calumny against the minister.
Meanwhile, the presidency has defended Pantami, saying calls for his resignation are instigated by those who want him out of his position.
According to presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, Pantami is currently subject to a “cancel campaign.”