" ITREALMS: Will Internet forgive Isa Ali Ibraham Pantami? - ITREALMS

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Will Internet forgive Isa Ali Ibraham Pantami? - ITREALMS

ITREALMS ... making leadership SENSE with digital news!
Remmy NWEKE in this piece examined the case of Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami and the Internet. He reminded us that though as internet enthusiasts, we may have deleted some contents, the Internet does not really forget even if it forgives.  
In the past fortnight, the name of Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the current Federal Minister of Communications and Digital Economy (MoCDE) has been trending across the media, especially on the Internet over his views and support on terrorism and for the Boko Haram among other terrorist organisations globally including Al Qaeda and Taliban.

While the viral video recorded several years ago and later than some half a decade before now have continued to gain tractions, it was obvious that the Internet does not forget.

Those media outlets in the bid to break this news some days back, hurriedly went to the press and left some vital and fundamental information as far as investigative journalism is concerned. Thus, leading them to backdown when confronted to provide evidences such as the official United States (US) position especially the aspect of the report claiming Dr. Pantami was on US terrorists watchlist.

For the records, Dr. Pantami, a renowned Islamic scholar was initially appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari from his first term in office as the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and later became the Minister. He was quoted by Peoples Gazette, for instance, as declaring that he was always happy when infidels were massacred in a video clip. A YouTube archive shows that the Internet does not forget.

These comments amongst others were also contained in now three audio recordings of his teachings in the early part of 2000 and have been confirmed to have taken place between 2000 and 2006, when he took extreme positions in support of the brutal exploits of Al Qaeda and Taliban elements on a campaign to obliterate the West and conquer other parts of the world. These clips were an indication that the Internet does not forget.

As this was going on, social media wake up to the tale of how Pantami preaching’s in the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi with a fatwa led to death of one Sunday Nache Achi, the student who was murdered on fatwa of Isa Pantami as the Chief Imam of the University.

To show and remind us that this report has been confirmed by Sunday’s colleague at the university and his father, Prof. Samule Achi.

ITREALMS gathered, for instance, that late Sunday Achi was the leader of the Evangelical Church Winning All, previously known as the Evangelical Church of West Africa’s Students Ministry and was killed for preaching Christianity on campus. Now it’s obvious, the internet does not forget.

Corroborating this, a former student of ATBU, Hyat Stephen Hassan took to his Twitter handle to recall this incident.

“I can never forget! I was a 200l student of ATBU when Pantami's fatwa ignited a religious attack that directly killed Sunday Achi, a then 400l student,” he said, demanding that #PantamiResignNow

Then came the hashtags; #PantamiResign #PantamiMustGo, #PantamiResignNow to name a few.

A public security analyst, Festus Ogun noted that Pantami risks life or 20yrs imprisonment or both for supporting and aiding terrorism; by virtue of Sections 5 & 18 of the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013. So, apart from resignation, Nigerians should demand for his prosecution. But, this is Nigeria #PantamiResignNow.

For Comrade Deji Adeyanju, the leader of Concerned Nigeria group who also received fatwa from Pantami in the midst of trending mill said, “All the people joining Isa Pantami to threaten my life are terrorists. The world knows this already. We must keep demanding that Pantami and his likes never get anywhere close to power ever again so that their plans of reign of terror won’t work. #PantamiResignNow,” he declared.

Oshomah who goes by Twitter handle as @JohnNetworQ said that “If @DrIsaPantami can renounce his views and still keep his job, we definitely should make Evans ‘the kidnapper’ chief of defense staff since he regrets his action then.” Wondering that “A government of insurgents apologists fighting insurgency. How cool is that? #PantamiResignNow”

Changed Pantami?

Nigeria’s woke up penultimate Saturday, to hear that Pantami said his views on religion had since changed, thus triggering another round of trend both on the social media and offline as social commentators took him up.

For some security experts, any terrorist sympathizer hardly can change or repent let alone a Nigerian political sympathizer but the fundamental question, they said, is that the video evidences could not be discarded. Another ground evidence that the Internet does not forget.

While reportedly addressing some media practitioners, Pantami has not outrightly denied any involvement in the saga surrounding the calls for his sack or resignation.

Then came few hours later his pronouncement of another fatwa on social crusader Deji Adeyanju who is the convener of Concerned Nigerians group, leaving most people to wonder if actually his purported change would not be taken with a pitch of salt.

According to gazettengr.com reports, Minister Pantami in his Facebook page, endorsed fatwa directing his supporters to kill Deji Adeyanju; causing some of his supporters to describe the famous political activist as an “unbeliever who hates Islam and Muslims on social media.”

A terrorist, always a terrorist:

But reacting to this latest fatwa, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu declared that “A terrorist is always a terrorist.” As said by him, assuming the latest story of being mere adolescent at about 34 years, when those statements and recordings were made, Odinkalu pointed out that “In 2019, when he was glorifying the #Taliban & #AlQuaeda & wishing them victory & glorifying #Jihad he was young. Mind you, in 2019, Pantami was DG of @NITDANigeria.”

Enthused @sheikh2031 asserted that “A leopard can NEVER change its spot.” Just as Emergency Boyfriend @emergencybf “This is true. “Once a terrorist always a terrorist.” Especially the Islamic kind of terrorist. There is always a jihad.

Where is DSS in this matter?
Israel Odita @OditaIsrael pointed out asked, “Can't they invite some people for questioning for threat to life? How can an official of government threaten or support a fatwa that specifically asks that someone be killed and the government is quiet?”

@Chegwe Ezenwa, said that “These guys are waiting for this Pantami thing to blow over. They may well succeed. And it’ll be another proof that we’re officially a terrorist enclave. Where’re all the vocal ‘activists’? Indeed, something sinister has descended on Nigeria!”

Even Prof. Odinkalu maintained that “The Terrorists have no business with governance. #PantamiResignNow #PantamiIsATerrorist.”

Digital footprint, hard to erase:

Above all, though the Internet may forgive by way of deletion of contents in the meantime, but definitely not forget, because of what experts described as digital footprint. Yes, you may have deleted a content from a given server, but do you know where and which other servers have picked the content as at the time of second thought and deletion taking place.

Very fresh in mind is the story of Tolu Oniru, a Nigerian on-air personality popularly called Toolz who recently shared the story on how an unprocessed YouTube video cost her a potential job when it was brought up during the interview, which left her devastated.

“I went for an interview once, and I brought my A game...till they made reference to a YouTube video of me. No twerking, just me swearing a lot & saying some stupid things. I didn't even know it was on YouTube, I was so embarrassed...and no I didn't get it,” she lamented.

For a popular American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart, whose decade-old homophobic tweet made him lose the job of hosting the 2018 Oscars despite deleting the said tweet and apologising.

One shocking detail about sharing content online is that the Internet doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t make distinctions between what’s done for a bad or good cause; it saves them all and leaves a trail behind: a footprint.

According to cyber experts, a shocking element about sharing content online is that the Internet does not discriminate, it doesn’t make distinctions between what is done for a bad or good cause; it also saves them all and leaves a trail behind, which a footprint.

So, when next you click that button to say send or post, think again! It may after all hunt you like is today hunting Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami by minding what you share. Never you go online angry.

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