Festus Keyamo takes unethical clout to new lows, circulates private chats with Eedris Abdulkareem - The Naija Weekly

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Festus Keyamo takes unethical clout to new lows, circulates private chats with Eedris Abdulkareem

 The Naija Weekly. April 25, 2021.




President Muhammadu Buhari’s junior minister of labour Festus Keyamo disregarded ethical conduct while taking a swipe at musician Eedris Abdulkareem on Saturday night, releasing screenshots of private conversations between them on social media.


Mr Keyamo in a thread of tweets lamented that he was embarrassed in a new soundtrack released by Eedris, saying it painted him as part of the latest crop of corrupt politicians looting the country’s skeletal commonwealth.


In the thread, the minister falsely accused Eedris of “cheap blackmail” and posted messages that cast the musician as a desolate citizen hustling the political elite to eke out a living.


“He begged me to introduce him to Malami (AGF), Amaechi & the SGF and to paint a good ‘PR’ for him,” Mr Keyamo said. “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”


He posted several screenshots of how Eedris moved to ingratiate himself with the Buhari reelection campaign in 2018 before unsuccessfully bombarding him with pleas for financial support.


“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,” Mr Keyamo said. “He has been mentioning my name specifically at occasions as if I am the cause of all his troubles in life.”


Mr Keyamo’s action could raise questions about his professionalism as a senior lawyer and sense of duty as a public office holder, according to etiquette trainer Mayowa Osibodu.


“A senior advocate of Nigeria serving in the federal cabinet should never found himself in a situation where he is posting people’s personal conversation to achieve a personal or political objective,” Ms Osibodu said. “It is an action that should warrant a suspension from office.”


The expert said Mr Keyamo’s action amounted to gross misconduct because he did not do it to extricate himself from criminal charges or other serious situation, but Mr Buhari has been known to look away at the recklessness of his appointees.


“He only did it to embarrass the musician and receive social media clout for it,” Ms Osibodu said. “That cannot be a reasonable excuse for someone that has become somewhat of a role model in the society.”


“But when the president cannot even take decisive action against his appointees who were exposed for corruption or terrorism ties as seen with Isa Pantami, then Nigerians may be right not to expect any sanctions against Mr Keyamo,” the expert added.


The remix of Eedris’ ‘Jaga Jaga’ had largely gone unnoticed until Mr Keyamo’s tirade on Saturday night. The first version of the song, released in 2004, had decried Mr Keyamo’s detention and other rights violations and corruption under President Olusegun Obasanjo. The former president also took umbrage at the song at the time, saying it was an attempt to cast the country in a bad light and did not in any way reflect the realities of Nigerians.


Eedris’ supporters said it was appropriate for him to mention Mr Keyamo because he had within the intervening 17 years morphed from an activist into a politician serving under one of the most infamous governments in the country’s history.


In “Jaga Jaga reloaded,” Mr Abdulkareem sang that Mr Keyamo has become part of the corrupt system he once spent years railing against.


“Where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal o,” he said in his signature gruff and hurried tone.


Mr Keyamo’s action also appeared to have violated Twitter’s social media guidelines, which forbid users from posting people’s private information. Since Eedris is not a public official, his telephone number which Mr Keyamo exposed alongside the private exchanges should have been redacted, critics said. A spokesperson for Twitter did not immediately return a request seeking comments.


The minister would also have been liable for criminal consequences in Nigeria had the proposed data protection laws been passed into law, said privacy rights activist Adegoke Adeboye.



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Festus Keyamo takes unethical clout to new lows, circulates private chats with Eedris Abdulkareem

The minister falsely accused Eedris of “cheap blackmail” and posted messages that cast the musician as a desolate citizen hustling the political elite to eke out a living.


HILLARY ESSIEN • APRIL 25, 2021


President Muhammadu Buhari’s junior minister of labour Festus Keyamo disregarded ethical conduct while taking a swipe at musician Eedris Abdulkareem on Saturday night, releasing screenshots of private conversations between them on social media.


Mr Keyamo in a thread of tweets lamented that he was embarrassed in a new soundtrack released by Eedris, saying it painted him as part of the latest crop of corrupt politicians looting the country’s skeletal commonwealth.


In the thread, the minister falsely accused Eedris of “cheap blackmail” and posted messages that cast the musician as a desolate citizen hustling the political elite to eke out a living.


“He begged me to introduce him to Malami (AGF), Amaechi & the SGF and to paint a good ‘PR’ for him,” Mr Keyamo said. “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”


He posted several screenshots of how Eedris moved to ingratiate himself with the Buhari reelection campaign in 2018 before unsuccessfully bombarding him with pleas for financial support.


“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,” Mr Keyamo said. “He has been mentioning my name specifically at occasions as if I am the cause of all his troubles in life.”


Mr Keyamo’s action could raise questions about his professionalism as a senior lawyer and sense of duty as a public office holder, according to etiquette trainer Mayowa Osibodu.



 

“A senior advocate of Nigeria serving in the federal cabinet should never found himself in a situation where he is posting people’s personal conversation to achieve a personal or political objective,” Ms Osibodu said. “It is an action that should warrant a suspension from office.”


The expert said Mr Keyamo’s action amounted to gross misconduct because he did not do it to extricate himself from criminal charges or other serious situation, but Mr Buhari has been known to look away at the recklessness of his appointees.


“He only did it to embarrass the musician and receive social media clout for it,” Ms Osibodu said. “That cannot be a reasonable excuse for someone that has become somewhat of a role model in the society.”


“But when the president cannot even take decisive action against his appointees who were exposed for corruption or terrorism ties as seen with Isa Pantami, then Nigerians may be right not to expect any sanctions against Mr Keyamo,” the expert added.


The remix of Eedris’ ‘Jaga Jaga’ had largely gone unnoticed until Mr Keyamo’s tirade on Saturday night. The first version of the song, released in 2004, had decried Mr Keyamo’s detention and other rights violations and corruption under President Olusegun Obasanjo. The former president also took umbrage at the song at the time, saying it was an attempt to cast the country in a bad light and did not in any way reflect the realities of Nigerians.


Eedris’ supporters said it was appropriate for him to mention Mr Keyamo because he had within the intervening 17 years morphed from an activist into a politician serving under one of the most infamous governments in the country’s history.


In “Jaga Jaga reloaded,” Mr Abdulkareem sang that Mr Keyamo has become part of the corrupt system he once spent years railing against.


“Where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal o,” he said in his signature gruff and hurried tone.



 

Mr Keyamo’s action also appeared to have violated Twitter’s social media guidelines, which forbid users from posting people’s private information. Since Eedris is not a public official, his telephone number which Mr Keyamo exposed alongside the private exchanges should have been redacted, critics said. A spokesperson for Twitter did not immediately return a request seeking comments.


The minister would also have been liable for criminal consequences in Nigeria had the proposed data protection laws been passed into law, said privacy rights activist Adegoke Adeboye.



“The action of the minister, especially the sharing of Eedris’ private telephone number, is one of the items that were prohibited under the data protection bill,” Mr Adegoke, a senior manager at Paradigm Initiative in Abuja, told Peoples Gazette.


“Several countries have passed stringent laws to protect the privacy of citizens, but Nigeria has been very slow to do so despite growing breaches of people’s privacy,” Mr Adegoke, whose organisation worked on the proposed federal law, said.


Mr Keyamo did not return a request seeking comments about his action. Call to Eedris’ telephone lines were not immediately answered on Sunday afternoon.


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