Following the disturbing stories about the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami’s, past statements supporting Islamic extremists, a new revelation has emerged about how, as the Chief Imam of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi mosque, his preaching directly led to the brutal murder of a 400-level student, Sunday Achi, who was the leader of the ECWA Student Ministries (ESM) on the campus.
He was accused of distributing a Christian tract that Sheik Pantami said blasphemed Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
On December 9, 2004, that happened.
According to Niche online, Achi was pulled out of his room by Muslim fundamentalists at Pantami’s request and taken to a remote location on the school grounds, where he was stoned to death.
However, the late student’s father, Prof. Samuel Achi of Kaduna, claims that his son was strangled to death inside the mosque where Pantami held court, rather than stoned.
“One thing I know that you people (media) got wrong was that my son was not stoned to death. He was strangled inside the mosque and they threw the corpse outside the university mosque,” he said.
He insisted that there was nothing blasphemous in the tract his son and his colleagues shared that should warrant a death sentence.
Achi narrated how a former governor of Kaduna state helped in retrieving his son’s corpse from Bauchi for burial in Kaduna by liaising with the then governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Muazu.
Many Nigerians have called for the sacking or resignation of Pantami after some comments he made some years ago came into light.
“We are all happy whenever unbelievers are killed,” Pantami once said as an Islamic scholar and cleric.
He also hailed Osama Bin Laden, who orchestrated the terrorist attacks on United States soil on September 11, 2001, saying the terrorist “is a better Muslim than myself.”
Pantami once also condemned Muslims who took up government positions, saying he would never join politics or take up a role in government.