By Victor Oso
The spat between the Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo and popular singer and activist, Eedris Abdulkareem has set the social media buzzing.
While some commentators have sided with the minister, others have chided Keyamo for behaving in a manner that belittles his office, for revealing what was supposed to be private conversation between two people.
The Minister had taken a swipe at Abdulkareem, over his new song, ‘jagajaga reloaded,’ which had reportedly disparaged Keyamo, saying “where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal o,” as a cheap blackmail after the latter didn’t succeed in extorting him and other top government functionaries.
Keyamo in his twitter handle released different private conversations he had with Abdulkareem and how he allegedly begged for money.
“I laughed out so loud and even danced to the rhythm too. But there’s a small story behind this poor attempt at blackmail.
“In 2018, when I was named the Director of Strategic Communications for the Buhari Campaign Organisation Eedris waxed a song in support of Buhari & wanted to join us, albeit for a fee. He then made desperate efforts to see me through text messages from his phone no. 07019691772.
“When I finally met with him, I listened to the songs but told him I had no budget for such or any for that matter.
“I explained that my job was voluntary. It was the same thing I told so many other so-called activists-by-day-and-hustlers-at-night who secretly approached me,” he said.
Keyamo said Abdulkareem then switched to the fact that he wanted a loan to pay for his hotel bills to the tune of N1.3m & to cater for his ‘sick mum,’ saying “that was already running into more than N3m. However, one govt functionary called me to say he told him another story that his child was sick.
“He begged me to introduce him to Malami (AGF), Amaechi & the SGF and to paint a good ‘PR’ for him. He pledged that he was with us in the campaign with his whole ‘body and soul’. But at this point, I knew he was a desperate hustler who could embarrass me, so I ghosted him”
Keyamo added: “Shortly after this episode when he could not penetrate the system to get the money he so desperately wanted, he then endorsed Atiku and called Buhari a ‘fraudster’. But we decided to ignore his weak voice of opposition.
“After our victory, he went berserk and joined every protest against the same Buhari whom he wanted to serve with his whole ‘body and soul’, but needed money to do so. He has been mentioning my name specifically at occasions as if I am the cause of all his troubles in life”
“His reference to me as ‘chopping’ reminds me of the gaffe of then Minister Sunday Afolabi who infamously said Bola Ige was invited to Govt to ‘come and chop’!
“I wish to assure Eedris and any who think being in Govt is tantamount to ‘chopping’, that for some of us (I can’t speak for others) it is just an honour to serve our country and an attempt to move from armchair criticism to a real participant in order to make a difference.
“Finally, we can all sit back and enjoy the ‘jagajaga reloaded’. One of the objectives of the song is to call me out since I ghosted him for attempted extortion – he has now succeeded. Another objective is to help promote the song by my reaction – that he has also achieved, ” Keyamo concluded.
In a tweet, PrinceVal @princeval357 said “Agreed that Eedris is a hustler but the JagaJaga song is the reality of this failed govt. Showing us receipts will not cover the mess of APC Govt. He’s a hustler and you’re a hustler, too. Una fit unaself. JagaJaga FC”.
In his tweet, Peace be still… @MellowGlow maintained “It is rather disappointing that a SAN, and a serving member of the current administration would stoop this low. You can do better!!!”
Similarly, Atogor John @Atogorjohn flayed Keyamo: “Boss you are more this na. You don’t have to throw stone at every dog that bark na.”
Waheed Alabede – Gaskiya Tafi Kobo @wFalabede, however, holds a slightly different view. “It is acceptable bro. I don’t condone exposing private conversation too but not when it is from a hypocrite who wants to sell their support. It is ok. How do we know he didn’t sell his support to Atiku? Folks need to know that their heroes are hustlers who only believe in money.”