NIN Registration Helped Us Reduced Kidnapping & Banditry – Minister Isa Pantami

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NIN Registration Helped Us Reduced Kidnapping & Banditry - Minister Isa Pantami

NIN Registration Helped Us Reduced Kidnapping & Banditry – Minister Isa Pantami.

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has said that the compulsory registration of sim cards in the country has helped to reduce banditry and kidnapping.

Speaking on Thursday in Abuja, Pantami said when he came into office in 2019, there were unidentified number of unregistered sims which were used to carry out crime in the country.

However, as soon as his administration came in, within less than 15 days, they directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to carry out an audit exercise.

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This he said led to the implementation of the policy that no unregistered sims would be on their network.

Pantami said as soon as this began, kidnapping and banditry reduced to the barest minimum,

In his words, “When I was assigned to supervise the sector on 24, August 2019, unregistered, and partial registered sims were being used to perpetrate crime in the country. Nobody knew the total number of unregistered sims.

“Within less than 15 days in the office, we have engaged the NCC as a regulator. We have directed them to carry audit exercise to enable them come up with unregistered and partial registered sims. 

“They came with around 9.4 million which is enough to populate another country. It was the first time we didn’t know the total of unregistered sims in the country.

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“And we went further to direct NCC, to ensure that by 25th September 2019, that is only one month few days in office, I spent there to ensure that by end of September 2021, no sim that is not registered will be on our network. NCC as a regulator implemented that effectively.

NIN Registration Helped Us Reduced Kidnapping & Banditry - Minister Isa Pantami

“From end of September 2019, to 2020, you will discover that even kidnapping and banditry reduced to the barest minimum. It was a time that hardly can you spend one month or more without hearing about kidnapping.”

The minister added that the more his ministry comes up with policies to make the system effective, the more criminals will come up with another strategy to compromise the policies.

Pantami has recently come under public pressure to step down from office after audio and video recordings surfaced about his controversial comments alongside excerpts of an academic paper that explored his preachings across northern parts of the country between the early and mid-2000s. 

The minister made controversial remarks that included how he was always happy whenever unbelievers were killed, his praises for terrorist groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda and his condemnation of the Nigerian military for killing members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect. 

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The revelations jolted Pantami’s political and media allies, many of whom said they had long considered him to be a moderate and astute preacher of Islamic faith across Northern Nigeria. Some academics had also written about Mr Pantami as a diligent and kind cleric whose teachings had set the tone for peace across the troubled region. 

Peoples Gazette said in one report that the minister said “I have always preached peace and tolerance. In some cases, I was attacked by my fellow Muslims for supporting my Christian brothers and sisters.”  

Pantami said Italian authors of the academic paper that chronicled his Salafi teachings as a bulwark of radical views amongst university students in the North had misrepresented him by failing to reach out to him before concluding the papers.

“They did their research but failed to contact me and sit down with me for an interview before publishing their papers,”  Pantami said. “It is possible they used a translator that did not understand Hausa or just did not like me.”

Meanwhile, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra has stated that the president’s appointment of Pantami as the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy was a continuation of the “Fulanistic agenda of islamizing the country by all means.

This was disclosed in a statement by MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, titled, ‘Buhari has vindicated MASSOB through Isa Pantami’s appointment’.

According to the group, the minister is a Fulani terrorist apologist and an ardent promoter/supporter of radical and extreme Islamism adding that “Pantami is a qualified and excellent tool in the hand of President Buhari in his primitive quest of making the Nigerian state as the permanent homeland for all Fulani scattered in West Africa.”.

The statement reads, “It is only in the southern and middle beltan Christian-dominated regions that Pantami’s National Identification Number (NIN) registration was made extremely compulsory.

“The NIN registration was an electronic digital instrument of monitoring the personal data of the people of southern and middle beltan regions. It will also be a major electronic means of disfranchising the electorate from the southern and middle beltan regions and rigging the presidential election results of 2023 to favour the Fulani interest and Islamic religious agenda.”

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MASSOB also stated that Pantanmi will never resign his appointment of helping President Buhari to make Nigeria a permanent homeland for all the Fulani of West Africa.”

On his part, Pantami has said he will no longer hold back and watch his “hard-earned” reputation be soiled by people he described as “paid agents” linking him with terror groups.

The minister said, through Uwa Suleiman, his spokesperson, that he is not unaware of well-coordinated and richly funded campaign against him.

NIN Registration Helped Us Reduced Kidnapping & Banditry - Minister Isa Pantami

“We are in receipt of credible intelligence that the same forces who have been championing a well-coordinated and richly funded campaign against the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, are now unto the next stage of their diabolic project.

“This time around, the forces of evil are shopping for willing partners as well as their usual avenues, to release doctored videos purporting to show the Honourable Minister in an alleged compromising condition, as a way of creating injury on his image.

“We are least surprised by this recent move which is a clear intensification of their desperation, having failed in their assault on the personality of the Honourable Minister, despite their previous efforts.

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“After concocting lies and half-truths linking the Honourable Minister with terrorism, despite his well-documented stance against Boko Haram and similar groups, these adversaries went to the extent of doctoring a document with capacity to endanger national security. It was a relief for peace-loving Nigerians that the gimmick also failed to strike that sensitive chord.

“This notice therefore is to alert the public to the latest ungodly plan and to warn the perpetrators about the consequences of such action. The Honourable Minister will not sit idly to see his hard-earned reputation as a respected community leader, Islamic Scholar and public servant being muddled in the mud by paid agents with no adherence to truth and fear of God.”

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