Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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Jos, Nigeria

ard times are indeed here. When I see certain personalities do strange and abnormal things in the name of hero worship, it only reinforces the fact that hard times are here. Few months ago, a brilliant Nigerian, lawyer, social critic and scion of the great Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s chambers – Festus Keyamo – made a presentation that could easily pass for a score-card of the APC-led government.

Shortly after, to be precise, the next day the APC announced Mr. Festus Keyamo as President Buhari’s spokesman for his re-election and since then; a whole lot that one never really knew about this fella began to be known. Before writing this piece, I had to first do a background check of some of the points I will be making but what strikes me the most is the fact that this man is a typical example of the problem with our youth.

That problem, which is; they always forget where they are coming from the moment they got conscripted by the political class. Is it joblessness or lack of clientele in his chamber that made an activist turned coat into an uncouth, abrasive and ill-mannered spokesperson? I am truly amazed. In one of my write-ups before, I had asked the question: CAN THE YOUNGER GENERATION REALLY FIX NIGERIA?

Many did not understand why I had to come in that form but the truth is simply that given the nature of our politics – which is fraught with sentiments of racism, religion and selfish interest – it was impossible to find a Nigerian that was completely enlightened, detribalized and selfless enough to provide the leadership we all yearn for. Why? It is because our politics is never about issues but about propaganda. This is my amazement with Keyamo.

“Like very many supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari, Keyamo is a victim of insular thinking. It is strange that a man who was tutored at the feet of the legendary human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi of very blessed memory, refuses to understand the power of logic and instead emotes. Like a character from George Orwell’s 1984, Keyamo is so tunnel visioned that he has hypnotized himself to think of reality as false and his fancies as real.”

This is a quote from Reno Omokri’s FESTUS KEYAMO WOULD WIN THE ELECTION FOR ATIKU. To say that Keyamo was a realist was to admit that black had ceased to be black but white. In one of his outings on Channels TV, Keyamo almost engaged Segun Sowunmi in a serious fisticuffs. Knowing that the Buhari government had achieved nothing tangible but alienated Nigerians from things they once loved to do, the only means of image laundering for the administration was to create chaotic scenes.

If Keyamo was not a lawyer, I wouldn’t be amazed but to understand that he is a lawyer and a senior advocate of Nigeria and, that lawyers are hardly emotional but dealt with realism; I am tempted to question how he got his SAN. I am tempted to ask how he had become a popular Lagos lawyer. Was it by arrogantly insulting the sensibility of say a rape victim in defense of the rapist?

Every Nigerian is hurting with this government in power and the least that Nigerians needed now was the show of arrogance when remorse and a humble concession that the re-election was not going to be a do-or-die affair was expected. In 2014, when ex-president Jonathan saw that his ambition polarized his political party – the PDP; he quickly allayed fears that his ambition (though real) was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

And when he lost, he proved his words by putting across the famous phone call to the eventual winner. All the hate campaigns then, was the handwork of the APC. This, Mr. Keyamo has cleverly cashed in on as he took up the job he understood nothing about. Like Dr. Chris Ngige once told Comrade Oshiomole, it is very clear that Mr. Keyamo understood nothing about the APC. He does not know what APC is all about.

The most annoying part of Keyamo as spokesman is that he does not even attempt to persuade rather he does tear at anyone with contrary views about his master. Interestingly, he is very much like his master who in 2015, openly claimed that the southeast geopolitical zone did not contribute to his victory and therefore was not to complain of marginalization. At a time when the youth agitated for space in politics; those who got chance messed it up.

Why should I not denigrate this man? Why should I not degrade his style as arrogant, insulting and self-serving? Look at Keyamo and compare him with another youth: Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state. What do you see? Arrogance, false impression of self, and a poor sense of managing publicity. In the first instance, what is so special about Buhari that a lawyer of several years of experience would want to lose all for?

Nigeria is at the moment existing in an era when whoever failed to deliver was shown the door. Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan failed us and was shown the door in 2015. Today, another has failed even more woefully than those before him and then decides to engage braggarts for the task of polishing his failures. Well, our PVCs are on hand and with it, Nigerians shall answer all the arrogance from the likes of Keyamo, Bello and Oshiomole.

If I may ask: What are the achievements that Keyamo has seen that his compatriots are not seeing? If all was truly well with him – I mean, if his profession still paid well – would he have accepted this job? He appeared to be cursed especially since defending an unknown image-destroyer in her accusation of sexual assault against revered Apostle Johnson Suleiman. Let me remind us that his behavior is evidence of one who lacked home training.

No one has served this government in this manner in the past and remained relevant. In the past, Governor Rochas Okorocha blew the trumpet for this government. Today, he is threatening to release a secret that will tear Aso Rock apart. Former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu danced like a masquerade around the same government until he failed in his arrangement to convince the IPOB Big man – Mazi Nnamdi Kanu – for the government.

That led him to Germany where he presently laid in the hospital after the EFCC reopened his case of fraud. Alh. Buba Galadima almost laid down his life for Buhari in 2014 but today, he is the biggest antagonist of the APC. Governor Amosun has also tasted the bitter pills despite his unalloyed loyalty. Should I mention the likes of Emir Sanusi of Kano, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, ex-president Obasanjo or Senator Dino Melaye?

Who have treated the electorate to delightful melodramas a few years ago (not knowing that whoever defended illiteracy defended trouble) and who today are not only sidelined but are struggling to shore their image by apologizing to Nigerians for their foolishness for showing support to an illiterate. To be frank, I wish Festus is acting differently. I wish he realized that it was scholastic anathema for a SAN to defend an illiterate in the name of politics.

The late elder statesman Dr. Alex Ekwueme once said that Nigerians are not worth dying for. The question is: Will Keyamo prove Ekwueme wrong; can he die for Buhari if need be? If not, of what use was the strategy of destroying his reputation (which we now know is empty) just because of politics? The government that he made enemies on behalf of is the same government that millions are rejecting.

When will the youth realize that 10 to 15 years from now; those they worshiped as heroes will be dead men? When will the youth begin to chart the cause for a brand new Nigeria without the tribal or religious barriers? Where are the youths who should show the era that the world existed now by politicking differently from what always obtained before? Whatever their heroes sowed now; it is the youth that will reap it tomorrow.

The Boko Haram is now an issue again, burning down mostly military formations so that government could allocate another fund for a rebuild. What has Festus Keyamo to say? His master has blamed the system for the slow progress of the anti-corruption war. What has Keyamo to say? The world is laughing at our security apparatus because of the death of former CDS Alex Badeh. What has he to say? Despite the bailout funds, more than 12 states still owed workers’ salaries and there are a few days to go for 2018, can he respond to this?

Mr. Keyamo – to me – is a man who has survived this far by riding on the wings of popular figures. He was popular when Chief Fawehinmi was alive but since his death, he has not done so well on his own. His entry into politics by taking up the job of spokesperson and doing it according to his mental capacity; watch it, if the APC loses out Mr. Keyamo will prefer to either hang self or relocate out of the country. Keyamo cannot die for Buhari. He is only a loudmouth who does not know how to be a spokesman.