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Festus Keyamo: A hole of an argument

By Tony Afejuku
12 August 2022   |   4:35 am
Seven days ago some brazen minutes of television exchanges between Seun Okunbaloye of Channels Television and Festus Keyamo, the minister of state for labour and employment, caught my attention.

Festus Keyamo. Photo: THEWHISTLER

Seven days ago some brazen minutes of television exchanges between Seun Okunbaloye of Channels Television and Festus Keyamo, the minister of state for labour and employment, caught my attention. The former was interviewing the latter on some key issues millions of patriots of this once very happy country can’t resist striking up a discussion or conversation on any-where they are – on line, any line, in the banks, markets, petrol stations, hospitals, air-ports, motor-parks, wedding ceremonies or social gatherings, churches, burial ceremonies, and other places. Seun Okunbaloye really does not need any introduction. He is the well-endowed anchor of Channel’s “Politics Today,” the politically righteous programme always well packaged to give diverse personages the opportunity to give Channels’ viewers and audience serious jokes, advice, tears, truth and hard/serious talks dwelling on our politics.

On the night of Friday, August 5th, the said minister, a junior one, in the central labour ministry aforesaid, was on the gruelling programme in which Seun Okunbaloye – who is becoming a gruelling interview near-expert, was Festus Keyamo’s worthy driller. I promised myself not to respond in this column to everything/anything the “youthful” person – by Nigerian standard – but who is actually not a youth – said – the “youthful” minister who some persons wrongly claim to be a “candidate” of Nigerian youths in General Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

I told myself as myself equally told me to not peak into speaking even though everything Kayamo said relating to the current strike of ASUU was a lie from a hole of lies dug up by the once-upon-a-time spit-fire lawyer on the side of the people and masses – whose memory’s insistence on his pre-ministerial moment and times of pro-people and pro-masses activism is not more obeyed and respected. The man’s junkyard dog of expression as Channels’ pummeller pummelled him without qualms, is compelling me – has in fact compelled me – to condescend critically and crassly to put my pen to paper. Clearly, he revealed himself as someone of strength who has stepped into power not to be employed on behalf of the people and masses.

Let’s make no mistake about it: Keyamo’s lie plus lie and/or lie times lie revealed him before me – and perhaps before you as well – as a super-lawyer of the pompous variety who could say anything to hoodwink the people and get away with it. In the course of that, his hybris had no uncertainty about it. Despite Seun Okunbalaye’s positive task to make him appreciate, for instance, the reality of our security (or insecurity) situation, the minister of hybris said it is only in Heaven that there is security! Phew! When did he take a trip to Heaven and return to the Hell that is Nigeria? (Maybe we should request his boss to answer this question if he is conscious enough to answer it).

Keyamo’s general argument relating to Nigeria’s security concern was puerilely puerile and within the realm of puerilism. And every word he uttered in this respect was really a hole of an argument. I don’t think he really meant what he said. After all, he spoke as a spokesperson of his party’s presidential candidate for next year’s presidential elections that may not even hold. You heard me right.

But my real concern with the one and only pseudo-Marxist in GMB’s government pertains to his emphatic lie and emphatic reiteration of this lie pertaining to ASUU’s current strike which the esteemed people’s and masses’ lawyer wants the historic union peopled by members and scholars of superlative wisdom to terminate. He deliberately misspoke and deceitfully argued that the union of unions was demanding one million plus trillion naira, which it was compelling the central government to borrow to meet its demands. I will address this lie shortly.

But let me draw my readers’ attention first of all to the minister’s demeanour when he concocted what he plainly concocted. His bearing and gestures lacked modesty. The whole grammar of his thoughts was devoid of the grammar of a minister in sympathy with what Nigerian university students and their striking lecturers and professors and parents and wards are passing through.

When he called upon parents of the students and Nigerians generally to “beg” ASUU to terminate the current strike he pretended big time to go down on his knees on air in the endeavour to sway ASUU to do the un-wise in its grand moment of its remarkably historic glory and justice for the Nigerian university system.

Keyamo’s interviewer did not fall for his television posturing and shenanigan. When he asked the popular minister and disputant of disputatious disputation to clarify his hole of a television argument, the highly knowledgeable Senior Advocate of Nigeria thundered: “This is not why I am here.

Let us move to something more important.” Did I hear the fine man and boy fine well? Of course, there was lack of rhythm and harmony and melody in his thunder. He even went further: “ASUU is not the only sector” and blah-blah and blah-blah and further blah- blah!!! What claptraps from the minister of “when jungle mature” – Sapele-Warri junkyard dog of expression when quay side boys bray in the fabulous cities, my twin-homelands. Various feelings entered me; and the chief ones were these.” So this glorious lawyer wants his trainers, professors, in the university/law school to keep on living on their wretchedly wretched and contaminatedly contaminated salaries for centuries? So he wants his trainers and their students to keep on engaging in scholastic activities in their useless environment of learning-less learning? So this is the spokesperson of BAT of the lagoon who wants ASUU and university persons, including students, to believe that he has a solid blue-print of transforming our university education in place?” Now ASUU and Nigerians know their true emotions and feelings.

At this point I want to put it to the minister and his masters thus: ASUU is the only sector. The University is the only sector. Without university academics there is nothing that is something anywhere here or elsewhere. Without university academics there is no science; there is no technology; there is no engineering; there is no judiciary; there is no agriculture that is agriculture; there is no medicine – there are no health services; there is no army; there is no police; there is no efcc; there are no intelligence services; there is no education of any kind that is education of any value in whatever discipline or whatever profession in any modern society and country that Nigeria in the present dispensation pretends to be.

The universities here deserve all the monies, all the trillions to make Nigeria a real nation in the comity of nations. Let this government of deceit times deceit borrow trillions from anywhere to make our public universities the world class universities that our country’s founding fathers wanted and envisioned them to be. Without our public universities no other sector will work. Private universities exist because of our public universities that provide the manpower for private universities.

Festus Keyamo should stop being spokesperson of his masters who are using him to do dirty jobs. At the appointed time they will dump him. I fully know that he has the inordinate political ambition of wanting to be the governor of Delta State sometime in the future. And he needs to amass the amassable to achieve his ambition. Once bitten, twice shy. And he must stoop to conquer even to the extent of making a hole of an argument, any argument – that attempts to bring him to bay as he demonstrated in the said interview that provided an insight into his key ministerial mood.

And here is my real request to Festus Keyamo, SAN: Don’t be a mangrove sloth. Simply go down on your knees in the next federal executive council meeting and beg PMB to give ASUU and our universities their rightfully negotiated due that is their rightful due immediately in order for our universities to re-open. The video of your begging should go viral thereafter, O dear patriotically patriotic Marxist and people’s lawyer – who is my small brother! The video will generate the right hub-hub. Come on! Go on! Do it! Thunder!
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.