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2023: Campaign spokesmen Keyamo, Melaye fight dirty

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AHEAD of the 2023 general elections, presidential campaign spokespersons for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Festus Keyamo and Dino Melaye, respectively, have embarked on a war of words.

It all started when spokesman for the APC presidential campaign organisation, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo, in an attempt to discredit the presidential candidate of the PDP Atiku Abubakar, said he (Atiku) lacks the needed experience and knowledge to govern the country.

Keyamo said Atiku’s experience as vice president to former President Olusegun Obasanjo was not enough to qualify him to become President.

Festus Keyamo
A file picture of Festus Keyamo

The APC campaign spokesman went ahead to declare that Labour Party (LP) presidential flagbearer Peter Obi was more qualified than Atiku.

“Atiku Abubakar has never held any position where he makes the final call. Even Peter Obi is ahead of him in terms of capacity to make decisions. The vice president does not make the final call, so how can we hand over the country to a man who never saw the capacity. Atiku Abubakar is not tested and he is not trusted,” Keyamo said.

In a swift reaction, Melaye, in a video posted on his official social media handle slammed Keyamo over the comment which he described as “myopic, porous, parochial and intellectually stagnant”.

According to Melaye, “Atiku Abubakar is running for the presidency for the second or third time and he understands this route better than the political virgin, Tinubu that you (Keyamo) are supporting who is running for the presidency for the first time and sees it as his life entitlements and retirement benefits for supporting Buhari.”

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Melaye added: “Keyamo’s inactive ministerial sojourn is affecting him. Because if he has succeeded as a minister, he won’t be talking the way he is talking. Many Nigerians will tell you today they don’t know the ministry Keyamo is working for because he is redundant, inactive and consumed by the aura of Ngige, the superior minister.

Dino Melaye
Dino Melaye

“Because Keyamo has a commercialised conscience and he has monetized his life, that is why he will not understand that the vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has some ministries, agencies and government parastatals under his direct supervision.

“Keyamo has disrespected the Office of the Vice President of Nigeria as a lawyer who understands the constitutionality and enormous responsibilities of that office.”

The fight between the two presidential campaign spokespersons is coming days after they were appointed.

On August 4, The ICIR reported that Atiku appointed Melaye and Daniel Bwala, a former APC chieftain, as spokespersons of his campaign ahead of the 2023 general elections.

On the same day, the APC unveiled Keyamo as the spokesman of the Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation.

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