Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says Pamtami’s views on Al-Qaeda were not discussed at the federal executive council (FEC) meeting.
The FEC held its 42nd virtual meeting on Wednesday presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Pantami attended the virtual council meeting, remotely from his office.
Responding to a question as to whether the issue of Pantimi’s pro-Al-Qaeda views was brought up, Mohammed said the matter did not come up for discussion.
“I’m not going to go into the issue of whether government is comfortable or not. I will answer your questioned directly. It was not discussed at the council meeting,” he said.
In videos from the 2000s, Pantami, who is a known Islamic scholar, was reported to have said while he was against the extremist anti-western ideologies of Boko Haram, he supports some of what Al-Qaeda and Taliban had preached.
But he recanted the views at a recent lecture in Abuja, saying that his position at the time was based on his understanding as a teenager.
“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,” he had said.
“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 the international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”
Despite publicly recanting his comments, there have been numerous calls for his resignation with some Nigerians also asking the Department of State Services (DSS) to probe him.