By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami is not on any US terror watchlist, as falsely reported at the weekend.
Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad debunked the report, as the original source of the fake news, newswirengr.com also recanted.
The online platform had claimed that Pantami was placed on the list over alleged ties with Boko Haram leader.
The report was recycled by some other online platforms.
Bashir Ahmad in a tweet on Monday described the report as fake news.
He said the Minister has never been on any US watchlist.
He wrote, ”You have just endorsed a fake report without verifying. For your information, Dr. Isa Pantami has never been on any US watchlist.
You have just endorsed a fake report without verifying. As a media outlet @NewsWireNGR you know exactly how to verify such reports, but no, you are here pushing a false and dangerous narrative to your thousands of followers. FYI @DrIsaPantami has never been on any US watchlist. https://t.co/p4vR5yUGQ9
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) April 12, 2021
The minister has also debunked the report.
Pantami said he has preached against the terrorist sect for over 15 years.
He called on Nigerians in doubt to get all his lectures and doctrines including debates that endangered his life against many criminals in Nigeria.
2) My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can't understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) April 12, 2021
The original source of the story, Newswire has also retracted the story and offered an apology to the minister.
“Several concerns have been raised with respect to the veracity of the story alleging Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Sheikh Isa Pantami being placed on Terror watch-list for alleged ties with the late Boko Haram Leader Muhammed Yusuf in our publication.
“We launched an independent audit to evaluate the story and found that there was no direct attribution by the said United States Government agency and we do apologise to our readers for re-publishing the report and also to the person of Sheikh Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications.
“The video embedded in the story where the Minister and the late leader of Boko Haram revealed that the minister and the late Boko Haram leader were in a heated debate. Sheikh Pantami in the video disagreed with Muhammed Yusuf’s position, insisting that Muslims should enrol in schools and equally participate in democratic governance. However, Yusuf argued to the contrary with little evidence from the Qur’an and Hadith which he relied on.
“As an organisation, we always aspire to perform our due diligence in publishing or re-publishing third party articles with credible media organisations and in accordance with the highest ethical and professional guidelines and for this story, we found that story was published by Daily Independent without attribution.
“Based on this development, we are retracting the story and deleting the article from our platforms, news websites and the various social media pages”.