Delta Central Senatorial Election- Festus Keyamo and His Dance of Shame

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festus keyamoDo not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother - Byrd Robert C.

As I ponder over the political situation of Delta State, I find it more complex because of its hydra headed problems and complication because even some of the masses voices have concluded in their minds to eat their share of the national pie.

It is disturbing.

The Nigerian activists, with exception of some labour leaders and firm fiery journalists are people I don’t trust; knowing that behind that seemingly dogged appearance lays an ulterior motive, which later than sooner gets exposed. Knowing this at the back of my mind, it wasn’t a shocker to me when I saw in Vanguard newspaper last year an advertisement by a group, Delta Front United (DFU), led by an activist cum lawyer, Festus Keyamo, urging Deltans to join in the rescue mission (apology to Rochas Okorocha). Thus I knew the game was up! I concluded my long belief that those Keyamo years of activism will end up with political ambition, and not just any mere ambition, but the mouth watering governorship ambition and like a bombshell, a few weeks later Keyamo declared his ambition. Can someone please tell me that I’m dreaming?

Keyamo, a governor? Now let’s not get it wrong. I have always admired Keyamo as a lawyer and an activist. I’m even a fan of his. Each time I drive past the Festus Keyamo chambers along Maryland, Lagos, very close to Anzaggi communication(not so sure of the spelling now), I never fail to take a glance at his chamber. The fiery Keyamo who is often addressed as a ‘Lagos lawyer’ should know that there is a big gap between activism and politicking. Be not deceived, they don’t complement each other. Let no one give me the old woman’s tale of “they dragged me into the race, my people asked me to run”, as I’m convinced that Keyamo has nursed the ambition for long. 

Even journalists like me who are mouth piece of the people have mostly been swallowed by Nigeria style of politics. Need we say that Keyamo is a lawyer whose profession is not a delight to the masses? Reuben Abati and Labaran Maku will be case studies for future media students. The Keyamo I know as an activist should not take the opportunity of governor Uduaghan dismal performance as an excuse to contest. Uduaghan non performance is judged on his inability to beat former governor Ibori legacy of performance in terms of construction and manpower. In Imo State, the people cried foul because immediate past governor, Ikedi Ohakim could not surpass his predecessor, Chief Achike Udenwa. Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabio is getting accolades in the media (though paid for) because Victor Attah only started the project from the foundation but Akpabio built and solidified it. Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomhole is basking in the euphoria of good governance, because the predecessor, Mr. Lucky Igbenedion performed woefully and shamelessly. I could mention on and on.

The Keyamo I know should have vied for a lower position, but even at that, he will still get his fingers burnt. Why? He’s only known among the elites and the tag, ‘Lagos lawyer’ appended to his name is not politically accepted in the Delta terrain. More ironical is the fact that not until he declared his ambition did most people know that he was not a Yoruba but Deltan. This is his undoing. When the shock of his gubernatorial aspiration was yet to settled down, Keyamo switched over to Delta Central senatorial ambition to become a Nigerian senator, a vacuum created by Pius Ewherido death. True politicians are not prostitutes that change like the weather. His sudden switch betrays his lack of principle, a man who does not know what he truly wants.

Can someone please tell Keyamo that those urging him only want to waste the resources he has garnered over the years? The Keyamo we know is only suitable to defend the masses and not to Lord over them? Every voice must not be heard at the centre stage. The millions of Naira starched by Keyamo in his various banks account should be channeled into a worthy cause in Delta State. With such done, the masses in the state can then draft him into the political race. Any good leader who must aspire to sudden Olympian height ought to have read Robert Greene ’48 Laws of power’ and I’m beginning to doubt if Keyamo has read it. If he has, he should read it again and again; if he has not, I volunteer to buy an original copy for him or give him my copy.

I knew he won’t contest under the leaking umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but his contesting under the newly dedicated baby; All Progressive Change (APC) is an error. For all I know, the APC won’t waste their political chance on a neophyte like him. There the DFU will come again, arguing that the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) featured Nuhu Ribadu as her presidential candidate during the last general election. Wrong line of thought, dear DFU; Ribadu is a household name, a loner and czar in the anti-corruption battle and not activism where there are thousands of us. The fact that he won Osun State during the 2011 presidential election is a pointer to that. Can Keyamo win his own Uvwie local government area as a chairman, need we say a senator? The answer is a big fat “NO”! Therein lies the crux of the matter.

Even if the Deux Ex Machina comes at work and Keyamo wins as a senator, or Governor, he still stand unprepared to lead a district or state like Delta with her multiple ethnic complexity. I sure will be among the early caller to his resident to congratulate him and give him my piece of advice for the journey ahead. It does take years in labour or government settings as an appointee or civil servant to know how it works. Agreed that he was a key member of the defunct National Conscience Party which had Gani Fawehimi as its presidential candidate and thus can lay claim to have participated in politics of recent time. Gani’s experience at the poll should be an eye opener to him that the dirty politics of Nigeria do not fit his likes; at least, not now. He needs not go far to take a cue of what awaits him at the poll and the dance of shame he has began to dance with strange bedfellows beating the drum. Truly, his ambition for now is a dance of shame. However, I welcome him to his first baptism of political fire.

Keyamo as a lawyer is good, Keyamo as an activist is brilliant, Keyamo as the masses ‘mobilizer’ is excellent, but the toga of a ‘distinguished senator’ or his ‘Excellency’ is for now not so palatable. Who will wake Festus Keyamo from this slumber? Keyamo, Keyamo, Keyamo; how many times did I call you?

These little things matter…

Fejiro Oliver, a Journalist can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and +2348026797588 (sms only please). Follow on twitter @fejirooliver86, Facebook fejirooliver86 and like our Facebook page-secretsreporters




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