During political seasons as this, Nigerians suffer all sorts of abuses, insults and disparaging demeanours. Politicians usually tell Nigerians to their very face that they are fools and less intelligent than the Nigerian political class. Festus Keyamo was an activist and lawyer who went after corrupt politicians who breached trust of public office in 2000s. He fought like a wounded lion to ensured that justice was served. This was the primetime of Keyamo – people hailed him, loved him and commended him because he was fighting for many helpless, voiceless and powerless Nigerians.
I reckon that where water may have entered the head of the pumpkin was when Festus was appointed as the spokesperson of President Buhari’s presidential campaign in 2015. I recall how he fought firecely with Femi Fani Kayode who was defending the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Surprisingly, Kayode was sitting next to Keyamo yesterday while he was making one of the damning revelations in Nigerian’s democracy (ATIKUGATE). A significant cause of political aparthy in Nigeria is that many citizens believe that politicians are the same and their participation will make no difference. Politicians laugh, insult and disparage the masses through their behaviours, choices and in utterances. The worst demeanour is showing Nigerians that their personal political survival and interests are more important than public service as Festus Keyamo has apparently demonstrated.
If not, why would Festus Keyamo, who is the State Minister of Labour in a country where more than 130 million people have been pushed into poverty and youth unemployment and inflation have skyrocketed, leave his duty post to be campaigning for Senator Bola Tinubu who has much more questions to answer compared to HE Atiku Abubakar. Currently, there are questions about the true age, health status, school certificates and association with narcotics which Bola Tinubu has not addressed satisfactorily. Meantime, the salaries and allowances of Festus Keyamo are currently being paid for with taxes from Nigerians whilst he flagrantly absconded from his duty post; but President Buhari is looking the other way, unfortunately.
Festus Keyamo should honourably resign and help Nigeria to pursue the ATIKUGATE through the court. He should return to his true calling in building Nigeria because history will remember him better as an activist and lawyer than a political marketer. All the ministers in President Buhari’s cabinet that were interested in 2023 elections have resigned, leaving their public service records intact. It is only Festus Keyamo who is seemingly above the law and morality that has not resigned; and he is doing as he pleases, and Nigerians are merely being entertained in return. Is it not obvious that Festus is no longer discharging his public service duties as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? In addition to acting as Presidential spokesman forBola Tinubu, he has taken up ATIKUGATE in his personal capacity. What kind of public service is this? Is Nigeria a country of jokers? These roles are inherently conflicting and too much for one person. Festus Keyamo should resign as a Minister because that position requires governance roles which are currently lacking because of his involvement in politicking. He can focus on political campaigns and politics as a spokesman and campaigner for the prosecution of the unfolding ATIKUGATE.
Keyamo admitted that he is abusing his office when he stated that he is ready to resign as a Minister to pursue ATIKUGATE. President Buhari should please ask Keyamo to resign as a minister if there is still any iota of honour, service, morality and patriotism in the APC-led Nigeria. Keyamo is taking public fund without working for Nigeria and it falls within what he is accusing Atiku of; and his circumstances can be described as KEYAMOGATE (receiving public funds and not discharging duties associated with it). The only attempt Keyamo made in the last 7+ years was to create 774 jobs in 774 LGAs in Nigeria but he could not deliver it because he went on a head-on collision with the National Assembly members. Under Festus’ watch ASUU was on strike for about 8 months. What governance contributions can Festus Keyamo pinpoint that he made in this APC-led regime that he vigorously sold to Nigerians in the same manner he is vigorously trying to sell Bola Tinubu to Nigerians for 2023 elections.
Keyamo usually talk about how public officers should ideally conduct themselves. Now, he is in a moral crossroad and he knows it. The safest thing he can do is to resign as a Minister because it is a moral self-sabotage of his activism to be a spokesman to Tinubu, whom he prosecuted in the past; and to be taking public funds when he is not discharging the associated duties.
He should resign because he is not active as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There is no moral basis for Festus Keyamo to continue with the three demanding roles – Minister, Spokesman and promoter of the prosecution of ATIKUGATE as a citizen. Nigerians whose taxes are being wasted on him must tell him the honest truth that he has obvious conflict of interests, and he needs to make sacrifices for the sake of ethics and morality.
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