The leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau has issued a threat to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr. Isa Pantami.
However, Christian leaders under the aegis of International Christian Conscience Initiative (ICCI) have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to cast aside national ego and enlist the support of the western powers in fighting terrorism in the North-east.
The insurgent leader threated the minister in a new video, directing his men to go after Pantami for threatening to block the communication lines of the sect members.
In the video he released Thursday, Shekau also threatened journalists, warning them to be cautious about how they report the activities of his group.
Specifically, he reminded the minister that his group killed a famous Kano cleric in 2007, saying a similar fate could befall Pantami if he did not repent.
He said: “This video message is specifically released because of one man, who thinks he is knowledgeable. I want him to archive this message and continue referring to it till his death comes. From today onward, you will continue to live in sorrow, because I, Shekau, say so.
“This warning is for Isa Panatami. Don’t think simply because you preach in English or because you are called a doctor, it means you have knowledge of Islam. You know nothing.
“Today, you have become a minister, and you are feeling you can achieve your selfish ends. You must know that speaking English has nothing to do with Islam.
“You said you are going to block phone lines and other means of communication, to frustrate the activities of Boko Haram, right? But you must understand that we don’t depend on such to take out our messages.
“Our messengers are like the angels of God. How dare you attempt to stop the works we are doing for the creator of the heavens and earth, simply because you have become a slave to the white world and the country. We pity you if you do not repent.
“I swear to God, you are nothing. Initially, we have not begrudged with you, but now you have become a slave to the infidels; repent now and become a good Muslim. If you do not comply from now on, death will come to you, Isa Ali Pantami.
“I call on my members in Africa, in Nigeria to rise and do the needful. Let them know that what we did to Sheik Jafar is just the tip of the iceberg. Anywhere you see Isa Ali Pantami, don’t spare him.
“Isa Ali Pantami you are nothing; even Jafar tried the same thing but we dealt with him; talk less of you that is nothing in Islamic practice. And from today on, you would not have rest of mind because you have dared God.”
Shekau taunted President Muhammadu Buhari, making reference to how he was booed when he visited Maiduguri earlier in the week.
He said: “And you, President Buhari, you said you are almost 80 years old and you are busy going about, and now your people have started booing, right? You just wait for your angels of death,” he said.
“Simply because some persons told you that they have killed our commanders, so now you are emboldened and you want to kill Shekau, right? Who is Shekau, a small person to you?
“But you are now in trouble Mr. Buhari; you are in big trouble. I am still here, that little boy that has defied the leaders of the world. I am still around, you just wait, it will soon be over before we all meet in the hereafter.”
In a communiqué it issued after a two-day meeting in Abeokuta, the Christian group said it was clear that the armed forces were overwhelmed and required foreign reinforcements in containing aggressions from Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP) terrorist groups.
The communiqué, which was signed by the group’s President, Prof. Olakunle Macaulay and Secretary, Rev. Moses Ajayi expressed outrage at the killings and wanton destruction of properties in Maiduguri, Borno State last week, despite government’s assurances that the insurgents had been kept at bay.
The communiqué lamented the incapacitation of the federal government to stop the incessant killings of innocent people, especially Christians; abduction and raping of women, and the forced conversion of people to Islam.
Given these ugly trends, the communiqué urged the governments of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States of America (USA), France and Spain, to help stop these inhuman activities of the dreaded group called Boko Haram.
Besides, the communiqué urged the President “not to hesitate to remove service chiefs whose periods have either expired or who have run out of military strategies.
“Nigeria’s Christian leaders support the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Hausa Christian Fellowship, and Tekan Fellowship of Churches concerning the insecurity of lives and properties of Nigera’s innocent citizens.
“We therefore, advise the President to change all the service chiefs whose periods have expired and have run out of military strategies to combat Boko Haram terrorists, and provide adequate weapons for the soldiers at the warfronts.”
The communiqué also called for the disbandment of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC), averring that it had outlived its usefulness; “having maintained a loud silence in the face of persistent cases of religious intolerance and other acts of injustice”.
Aside, it endorsed the establishment of the Southwest security outfit code-named ‘Operation Amotekun, noting that since the federal government could not ensure the safety of lives and properties, the constituent states were in order to wade in.
“If the federal government that has a responsibility to protect lives and properties cannot discharge the function effectively, then the states should act.
“The truth is that, the federal government has failed to stem the tide of kidnapping and raping that lately stalked the southwestern territory of the country.
“This is evident in the inability of the police to bring the situation under control; therefore, the Amotekun is an alternative police, since the police have proved inefficient to meet public expectations.”
It urged the federal government to increase the police personnel, saying most communities are under-policed; and that modern weapons should be provided for them, to make them efficient.