Former Edo state governor and ex- National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has accused the State Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, of spearheading his removal as the head of the party.
Oshiomhole was reacting to a statement by erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who alleged that Keyamo and others were plotting to restore him as the party chair.
Recall that some bigwigs and leading legal practitioners in the country, including the minister, had questioned the legitimacy of the Mai Buni-led caretaker committee of the APC over the recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the Ondo governorship election.
Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, had insisted that the judgment of the apex court was nuance and oblique, and warned the party to halt the planned congresses, disband the committee and reconstitute a fresh one.
Reacting in a statement signed by his senior media aide, Victor Oshioke, Oshiomhole described the minister as a betrayal, adding he “was in the political kitchen when the pot of crisis he is now offering advice on was being cooked.”
He wondered why Keyamo would post on social media what he captioned as a “private and confidential” legal opinion for the President who appointed him.
The former Edo governor said the action of the minister was reminiscent of the indiscipline from some senior leaders of the party which he sought to deal with decisively as national chairman.
He said, “In the said statement widely reported in the media, Chief Eze was quoted as saying that Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), Hon. Minister of State for Labour and Employment, and others were plotting to bring back Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
“Ordinarily we would have ignored this nonsensical suggestion. However, it is pertinent to set the records straight and put to rest this ridiculous falsehood being marketed by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze.
“Festus Keyamo was at the forefront and indeed provided legal support through his legal assistants who went to court and argued on behalf of those that filed cases for the removal of Oshiomhole as national chairman of the APC.
“Keyamo also offered legal advice on the legality of the NEC that was convened for the dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of APC and emergence of the Governor Mai-Mala Buni led Caretaker Committee.
“It is, therefore, frivolous for any right-thinking person to assume that Mr. Keyamo, who actively supported the removal of the national chairman elected by over 6, 500 party delegates from across the 36 states and the FCT, would now plot to bring the same Oshiomhole back to the office.
“It is strange that a serving minister would share on social media platforms what he captioned as a “private and confidential” legal opinion for Mr. President who appointed him, especially considering that he was in the political kitchen when the pot of crisis he is now offering advice on was being cooked.
“The truth is that Mr. Keyamo seems to have lost out in the power play and failed to secure the benefits he anticipated in Oshiomhole’s removal from office with the consequent dissolution of the NWC and other structures of the party. This is the main reason for his self-serving new legal opinion which contradicts his earlier stance.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole will not be part of any plot to destabilize or ridicule the party in any way or for any reason. He takes serious exemptions to his name being dragged into an issue that he has no hand in.”