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•We’re not surprised –PDP, Yakasai •It’s hypocritical, says Odumakin
Chinelo Obogo, with agency report
The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has distanced itself from the appointment of rights activist and lawyer, Festus Keyamo (SAN), as spokesperson for the President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation.
The APC said it has nothing to do with Keyamo’s appointment; at this stage.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who reacted to the appointment, yesterday, said since other aspirants would be contesting for the position, setting up of campaign committee by an aspirant for the election does not involve the party.
“The reality is that what happens at this stage of the build-up to the 2019 presidential election does not involve the party.
“Yes, president Buhari has declared but there will be others that may likely contest for the same position.
“The appointment of Keyamo, by the Buhari Campaign Organisation, is not an APC affair at this stage.
“It is just like another aspirant under the APC platform setting up campaign structure by appointing some other persons.
“Whoever is appointed now is regarded as an action from one of our aspirants.
“As an unbiased umpire, the party is expected to be fair to all the aspirants contesting under our party platform. It is only when Buhari finally emerges as the APC presidential candidate that any appointment becomes an affair of the party,” he argued.
Regardless, mixed reactions have trailed Keyamo’s appointment.
Lagos State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Moshood Salvador, said Keyamo’s appointment is a contradiction of his posturing as a rights activist and lawyer.
He said: “I am not fully disappointed because he is one of those that get legal briefs from the EFCC.
“For a man who has branded himself as a human rights activist, now taking up the appointment of a political party, contradicts the principles of human rights activism.
“How can he talk against this government when they are doing wrong since he is now a spokesperson?
“This is a government that the nation wants to changebecause it has failed, then, how can you call yourself an activist and you are supporting a government that people have rejected?
“That is a contradiction.”
Elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai added: “I am not surprised because he has been taking briefs from EFCC for a very long time, so, it should not be a surprise to anybody because he was a collaborator with the government.
“So, if he is appointed by the government whose agencies he has been patronising, that should not be a surprise.
“I have had different experiences in Nigeria such that those things do not come to me as a surprise.
“I’ve seen people who would speak at the top of their voice that they are committed patriots, all of a sudden, you will see them taking patronage from people they were opposing.”
But spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin differed.
He said Keyamo has the right to accept or reject the job, but said it was hypocritical on the part of president Buhari to announce Keyamo’s appointment while he was telling the international community that he was not focused on the election.
“He has the right to accept any job that he wants to and Buhari can appoint anyone that he wants as well.
“But, there is so much hypocrisy surrounding this appointment.
“Buhari was with Theresa May of Britain, on Monday, where he said that while others where fixated on the next election, he is concentrating on improving the economy of the country, but, while he was making that statement, Chibuike Amaechi was writing an appointment letter for a spokesman for a campaign for which he is yet to win the ticket of his party.
“Is that not hypocrisy?
“His party has not held its primary and he has already started appointing people for his campaign”, Odumakin said.