Dino Melaye, a former senator who’s been designated as the spokesperson for the 2023 presidential campaign of the presidential flag-bearer of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has hit back at Festus Keyamo – the minister of state for labour and employment – over his comment on Atiku in a recent TV interview.
Keyamo has come under fire for his views on issues, including Atiku, during his interview on Channels Television on Friday.
In a video posted on his Facebook page, Melaye accused Keyamo of demeaning the office of the vice-presidency of Nigeria, describing his views in the interview as myopia, intellectually stagnant, shameful and embarrassing.
“It’s embarrassing and a disgrace to his children because a man like Keyamo will open his gutters and talk to a former president of the federal republic of Nigeria. One single Nigeria with several competencies – Alhaji AtikuAbubakar,” Melaye said.
He said if Keyamo had succeeded as a minister he wouldn’t have talked the way he talked in the televised interview.
Melaye said many Nigerians did not even know the portfolio Keyamo occupied because he was inactive, redundant and invisible.
“He has been completely consumed by the aura of Ngige his superior minister, inactive as minister because he is not visible as a minister. He is not known as a minister,” Melaye said. “Ask Nigerians today, what portfolio is Keyamo holding? Many will tell you that they don’t even know the ministry he is working in because he is redundant, inactive, and not visible.”
He added: “Because he is not known as Minister, he is mistaking his office as a Minister of State for the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. No Nigerian who is educated, and intellectually okay will abuse the office of the Vice President of Nigeria.
“What Keyamo attacked is not Atiku Abubakar but the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the number two office in this country.
“Because he has monetized his conscience, that is why he will not understand that the office of Nigerian VP has some ministries, agencies under its direct supervision and oversight.
“That is why he will not know that in the absence of the president, the vice president is the acting president with executive power anytime the president is out of the country. So what he has done is that he has abused the office of Nigerian VP even as a lawyer who should understand the constitutionality of that office.
“Anyone who has been a VP is fit to be a president. Can Keyamo also say that Atiku has not succeeded internationally as a businessman?
“Just because you are acting under ‘sekpe’ or under the influence of marijuana, you just smoke your ganja and you think you can just open your mouth and talk? Because you are defending someone who takes drugs more than food today?
“You are talking rubbish and I am going to challenge you to a debate. Nigerians know who you are, they know that you are a commercialized character, a failed politician.
“I challenge you to a debate and when we sit down, I will break you into pieces.”