IMEI: The data of Nigerians is not protected with Isa Pantami, according to Aisha Yesufu.

“Somebody who has sided with terrorist groups like Boko Haram now at the helm of affairs, I am not going to submit my details in his custody.
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Aisha Yesufu, a Nigerian social-political activist, who came to prominence following her role in speaking up for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls in 2014. She was the co-convener of the Bring Back Our

Aisha Yesufu, a human rights activist, claims that Nigerians' data is not safe with Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, who has a history of sympathizing with terrorists.

Yesufu revealed this in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH on Friday. She was responding to an order from the Nigerian Communications Agency, which stated that beginning in July, Nigerians will be required to transmit their phones' International Mobile Equipment Identity to the commission.

Each phone's IMEI number is a 15-digit number that is unique to it. It allows a phone to be traced and found regardless of the phone's cellular number.

The move, according to the NCC, will allow it to

“to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance National Security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce the rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices”

However, in an interview with The PUNCH on Friday, Yesufu stated that submitting Nigerians' phone identities to the NCC under Pantami is neither wise nor safe.

Pantami, a member of President Muhammadu Buhari's cabinet from Gombe State, is in charge of the Nigerian Communications Commission, the National Information Technology Development Agency, the National Identity Management Commission, and the Nigerian Postal Service, among other things.

Pantami has recently been under fire for comments he made in the past that were pro-Taliban and pro-Al Qaeda, but the minister claims he has repudiated his extreme ideas. Since then, many Nigerians have demanded for his resignation or dismissal. The White House, on the other hand, cleared him, claiming that he made those remarks when he was young and naive.

Yesufu, speaking with our correspondent, said it's concerning that Pantami is still in power, despite the anger over his pro-Taliban remarks last month.

She said,
“The minister of communications is a terrorist sympathiser even though he tries to deny it initially but when the overwhelming evidence of what he had done came out, he then said he did it in his younger age. Somebody in his late 30s was not a young person.

“Somebody who has sided with terrorist groups like Boko Haram now at the helm of affairs, I am not going to submit my details in his custody.

“He is not supposed to be the minister of communications; he ought to have been sacked right now. The terrorists have one of their own in such a sensitive place and I am not going to put my information in his care. Handing any information to him is not wise at all. He shouldn’t be at the helm of such sensitive ministry.”

Yesufu had previously stated that she would not link her SIM card to her National Identification Number, according to the PUNCH.

Pantami said on December 15, 2020 that all SIMs on the network of telecommunications providers that were not registered with valid NINs would be blocked.

The minister said that the SIM-NIN linkage project has been extended to June 30, 2021, after imposing numerous deadlines. However, many Nigerians have been unwilling to link their SIM cards with their NINs, citing data privacy concerns.