BY KAZIE UKO
Popular Nigerian artiste, Eedris Abdulkareem Ajenifuja, has described the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, as a blackmailer for saving a private chat he had with him in 2018 and now using it against him.
Abdulkareem in his latest work, Jagajaga Reloaded, a remix of his controversial song, Nigeria Jagaga, poked Keyamo in the last line of his lyrics, singing, Where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal oh.
Keyamo not taking lightly to the lyrical jab went to town with a 2018 private chat he had with the artiste, where Abdulkareem made some solicitation from the minister, then spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign.
“Eedris Abdulkareem just released a song, ‘jagajaga reloaded’, where he waxed the following lyrics, ‘where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal o.’
“I laughed out so loud and even danced to the rhythm too. But there’s a small story behind this poor attempt at blackmail.
“In 2018, when I was named the Director of Strategic Communications for the Buhari Campaign Organisation Eedris waxed a song in support of Buhari & wanted to join us, albeit for a fee. He then made desperate efforts to see me through text messages from his phone no. 07019691772.
“When I finally met with him, I listened to the songs but told him I had no budget for such or any for that matter.
“I explained that my job was voluntary. It was the same thing I told so many other so-called activists-by-day-and-hustlers-at-night who secretly approached me,” the minister narrated on his Twitter handle.
According to Keyamo, Abdulkareem told him that he wanted a loan to pay for his hotel bills to the tune of N1.3million and to cater for his ‘sick mum,’ saying that it was already running into more than N3 million.
“However, one govt functionary called me to say he told him another story that his child was sick.
“He begged me to introduce him to Malami (AGF), Amaechi & the SGF and to paint a good ‘PR’ for him. He pledged that he was with us in the campaign with his whole ‘body and soul’. But at this point, I knew he was a desperate hustler who could embarrass me, so I ghosted him.
“Shortly after this episode when he could not penetrate the system to get the money he so desperately wanted, he then endorsed Atiku and called Buhari a ‘fraudster’. But we decided to ignore his weak voice of opposition.
“After our victory, he went berserk and joined every protest against the same Buhari whom he wanted to serve with his whole ‘body and soul’, but needed money to do so. He has been mentioning my name specifically at occasions as if I am the cause of all his troubles in life,” Keyamo revealed.
But Keyamo may be mistaken if he believed that he had finally unmasked and caged the ‘Jagajaga’ crooner. The can of worms he opened only succeeded in bringing out the ‘beast’ (apologies to Fela) in Abdulkareem.
“Did Festus Keyamo join the cabal or not?” Abdulkareem snapped.
Not totally denying Keyamo’s narrative, the singer in a statement said: “When he (Keyamo) was in prison, I stood by him, I fought Obasanjo on behalf of all the comrades in prison, I released Jagajaga.
“When my mother was dying, I reached out to a brother, or one I thought was a brother and a comrade. Could he have helped, yes, did he help, NO… Such was the wickedness of his heart that he munched and kept personal details for three years…real Hallmark of a Blackmailer!
“In 2018, I still thought the man was a comrade. Thought he could effect change in the government he served. Then he joined the cabal, he became inner caucus and held the steering wheel spiralling Nigeria into doom.
“He joined to crush the revolution of the youths; he joined the cabal. The cabal which mowed down our youths at LEKKI TOLL GATE.
“With a vexed spirit, I went again to the studio for Jagajaga Reloaded and the Blackmailer went to town. The cabal is awoken.
“The cabal is hit. The cabal is in pain. The cabal is failing. The cabal will FALL.
“The Blackmailer said I recorded a song for Buhari. The said song is titled: ‘Obasanjo Write Buhari Letter…’
“Issues raised on Jagajaga Reloaded are facts. Nigeria never had it so bad. The Jagajaga has taken a gargantuan dimension. We must keep asking questions. We must ask the cabal questions.
“Festus Keyamo don join the cabal. He is in pains because his next ambition is to be governor of Delta State.
“Perhaps to localise grand looting, terrorism, murdering and raping of our citizens, kidnapping, which his cabal have romanticised and packaged as banditry, and sundry other mis-governance. This is why Jagajaga ti get e!
“Festus Keyamo na cabal.”
Jagajaga Reloaded is a four-minute tracker which featured two other Nigerian artistes, Nigga Raw and Madarocka Chi. The song critically evaluated the Buhari administration, describing it as a “democracy military”. The Nigerian Army involvement in the #EndSARS fiasco at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, also received a bashing.