By Alao Abiodun

Nigerians have intensified calls for resignation of embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Ali Isa Pantami over alleged links to terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Taliban.

Pantami’s past teachings, which resurfaced last week where he declared support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban, has been a subject of discussion and debates on social media platforms with many Nigerians calling for his removal and some others defending him.

The Nation reports Pantami denied any links with the groups.

But he, however, admitted making the controversial statements supporting the groups and that his views on such extremist groups have changed.

Checks by The Nation revealed that different hashtags such as #PantamiResign, #PantamiResignNow, and counter hashtags — #PantamiMustStay #IstandWithPantami, and others have been trending since last week Friday when the reports gained momentum.

The Nation observed many pushing for Pantami’s resignation, cited the case of a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who had to resign due to her past action as regards her National Youth Service Corps certificate.

Some others carpeted the National Assembly and DSS for not thoroughly screening Pantami before he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mubarak Umar said: “…a gentle reminder that Dr Isa Pantami is still the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, and there is nothing all of you religious/ethnic bigots will do about it. Whether you like it or not, #PantamiMustStay.”

Abiodun Sanusi tweeted: “Sympathising with Isa Pantami is the same as showing sympathy for Osama Bin Laden or Biko Haram. Religious extremists are no different from terrorists #PantamiResignNow”

Abubakar Hidima Ph.D stated: “Their only hatred for him is that, to them, a Northern Muslim & an Islamic scholar must not excel to the position of a minister. It is purely hatred for Islam & Muslims. That is the driver for all this rancor. But, #PantamiMustStay is trending & so shall it be in Shaa Allah.”

Chigozirim Emeakayi wrote: “Pantami’s strategy could put a stop to a lot of crimes, both cyber crimes and terrorism, that’s why they are on Rampage to get him out of Office

“Let’s wait and see their move on Buba Marwa of the NDLEA, who is probably their next target, but they’ll not succeed

Patricia Asanya said: “The problem is not just Pantami, it’s @nassnigeria, how did he even make it past screening without proper investigation into his past activities and ideologies. Rubber stamp legislature #PantamiMustResign”.