Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says he accepted to serve as Director, Strategic Communications, President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation for the 2019 election because Gani Fawehinmi, his late former boss and widely respected human rights activist, supported Buhari as well in his lifetime.
Keyamo said his participation in partisan politics should not be a surprise to anybody because Fawehinmi also supported Buhari.
“In doing this, I take a cue from my revered late boss, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN who mentored me,” he said in a press statement.
“Throughout his career, he also consistently and fiercely engaged every government in Nigeria and suffered as a result. Guess what? THE ONLY GOVERNMENT HE FULLY SUPPORTED THROUGHOUT HIS LIFETIME was that led by General Muhammdu Buhari in 1984 – 1985; and that was to the chagrin of some of his professional colleagues and fellow ‘radicals’.
“However, he saw what they did not see at that time, because when that government was overthrown by General Babangida, what followed was the worst era in our history in terms of institutionalizing corruption and political chicanery in Nigeria. In the 2007 Presidential election, my late boss again endorsed General Buhari.”
Keyamo argued that the ultimate aim of every struggle is not really to enthrone a flawless system but rather to have a government that is focused and ready to protect the interest of the masses.
He said no government in the history of Nigeria had recovered so much looted funds as that of President Muhammadu, which is one of the many reasons he had become bold about his support for the President’s re-election bid.
He also defended Buhari’s handling of the economy, arguing that the President inherited economy that was already in bad shape before 2015.
“I am persuaded that the Buhari Government took the right measures to halt a bigger disaster awaiting our economy had it been otherwise. Those who are persuaded otherwise are within their legitimate right to do so.
“We are all patriots, trying to find the right answers to our problems as a nation. However, if you are persuaded otherwise, kindly state in details what exactly should have been done to run the economy better, given the crash in oil prices and production that dropped to around 700,000 barrels per day. Surely, discerning Nigerians would no longer buy the fable of ‘Buhari destroyed our economy’”
In defence of his partisan politics while claiming to be a human rights activist, he said it was to ensure that Nigerians have the best because “Buhari is one of the very last of the upright Mohicans in Nigeria available to help reclaim public integrity before he takes his bow in 2023″.
“That is why I have made my choice for 2019 and I will publicly stand by it. That choice is President Muhammadu Buhari. For those who are persuaded otherwise, I challenge them to also name their choices because you cannot criticise my choice of a candidate without naming your own choice,” he said.
“After all, the President would not be running against ghosts or against a vacuum. Therefore, this is not a time to hide behind a blanket criticism of any candidate. Each candidate should be assessed in comparative terms with other candidates.”
He dismissed criticisms of Buhari’s age and health, arguing that age is inconsequential in leadership and it is God who gives good health.