By Our Correspondent
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami, has renounced some contoversial comments he once made on Al Qaeda and Taliban.
The minister has been under fire over the comments which were interpreted as endorsing the extremism and terrorism against non-Muslims.
Social media users have intensified calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire him if he fails to step down, citing the example of a former Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who resigned over NYSC exemption certificate forgery.
But while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday, Pantami said he now knows the implications of some of the comments he made in the past.
He said the campaign against him was politically-motivated by interests against the ongoing NIN-SIM linkage.
“For 15 years, I have moved round the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have traveled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.
“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.
“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.
“I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager. I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later,” Pantami said