- NSCIA has advised CAN not to cause a religious crisis in Nigeria
- The Christian body had asked the federal government to sack Pantami over his past comments on Boko Haram
- The NSCIA, however, described the calls by the CAN as a height of mischief
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has described the minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, as a man of peace and integrity.
TheCable reports that there have been calls for the minister to resign over his past comments about Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
Legit.ng gathered that Samuel Ayokunle, national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), had also called for an investigation into the controversy surrounding the minister.
Speaking on Monday, April 26, in a statement issued by Salisu Shehu, deputy secretary-general of NSCIA, the Islamic group said those calling for the minister to be sanctioned, including CAN, were out for mischief.
Shehu said the NSCIA could have also called on the government to arrest a prominent former minister who bailed Mohammed Yusuf, the late founder of Boko Haram, three times.
The statement read:
“With all these very clear achievements on contributing to the development of Nigeria and indeed to nation-building and peace-making, it becomes really appalling that the national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria would join the ignoble band-wagon of the architects of mischief who peddle lies and fabrications against the honourable minister.”
He said the national president of CAN needs to be reminded that the NSCIA has always exercised restraint on issues involving individual political office holders except when it becomes ultimately necessary like in the present case.
Shehu further stated that if the NSCIA has been as prejudicious and as pathologically hateful, it would have asked the Nigerian government in 2008 and 2009 to arrest and investigate a one-time prominent Christian minister who at three different instances bailed the late leader of Boko Haram when the latter was arrested by the security agents.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, Nigeria's foremost Islamic group under the leadership of Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, lamented over what it calls the smear campaign against Isa Pantami.
It was reported that the minister has been at the centre of a controversy linking him to international terror groups due to his comments in the past.