The Special Assistant on Public Communications to Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has called on the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, to resign from the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari if he is unhappy about the cashless policy.
Shaibu said this in a statement on Saturday while reacting to Keyamo’s insistence that President Buhari erred by disobeying an order of the Supreme Court when he declared that only the old N200 note remains legal tender.
Keyamo, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had blamed Buhari’s action on wrong advice he received from his advisers.
Reacting, however, Shaibu said if Keyamo truly believed that the President erred, he ought to resign as minister in order to dissociate himself from the President’s action.
Shaibu said Keyamo had in the past defended Buhari’s decision to ignore court orders on the basis of national security.
Shaibu stated, “During his ministerial screening at the Senate in 2019, Keyamo pointedly told the 109 senators gathered that human rights and the rule of law can be put in abeyance for the sake of national security.
“Today that his party is on the receiving end of a policy that will stop vote buying, he suddenly remembers the rule of law and is pontificating on respect of court orders. What a joke! This is a man that abandoned his calling as a human rights activist the moment he was called to the APC’s dinner table.
“Keyamo should give up his ostentatious performance of moral propriety; his Mr. Goody two-shoes acts are irritating.”
Atiku’s aide also described as jejune, Keyamo’s claim that Buhari was acting based on wrong advice, accusing the minister of portraying the President as someone who does not have a mind of his own.
“Keyamo should be bold enough to condemn the President and resign just as some ministers usually resign in the United Kingdom when they don’t agree with the Prime Minister’s action.
“If he wants to criticise the President, let him do it boldly with his full chest instead of attacking some unnamed advisers of the President and portraying the President as a helpless old man who does not have a mind of his own. That is a cowardly approach,” Shaibu said.
Shaibu wondered why Keyamo failed to exhibit his activism when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) spent 10 months on strike in 2020 and eight months on strike in 2022.”
He said, “To be clear, Festus Keyamo has been the Minister of State for Labour and Employment since 2019. Under the watch of this retired activist and erstwhile rights crusader, ASUU has spent a combined 18 months on strike in 43 months.
“Keyamo never spoke up. In fact, he dumped ASUU at the negotiation table to go and campaign for Bola Tinubu. When he was confronted on national television, he asked parents to go and negotiate with lecturers. Suddenly, he has found his voice because of a cashless policy that will deter his new master from deploying bullion vans on election day.”
Atiku’s aide said that since Keyamo had finally received enlightenment, he also ought to resign as spokesman for the Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council.
He said it would be hypocritical of Keyamo, who is a former prosecutor of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to serve as the image maker of Tinubu.