Minister of State, Labour and Employment and spokesperson of All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has petitioned the State Security Services (SSS), demanding the arrest and prosecution of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, for allegedly inciting Nigerians over the outcome of the recently held presidential election.
In the petition addressed to the Director General of SSS, dated March 23, Keyamo said in a post-election period, there is a need to soothe frayed nerves, lower the temperature and begin the healing process.
“The President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, issued a statement to this effect a few days ago. However, it appears the President and Vice-Presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, are not prepared to toe this conciliatory path for the sake of peace and national cohesion, whilst exercising their rights to pursue duly laid down constitutional means of addressing their grievances.” he stated.
Keyamo claimed that since the declaration of the presidential election results, the duo have been hopping from one media house to the other making incendiary comments and claims about the declaration of the president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to him, those comments and claims are made, not just within the boundaries of exercising their rights to freedom of speech and the freedom to air their grievances publicly, but they crossed the line to call for the outright truncation of democracy by insisting on the adoption of other processes outside the contemplation of the Constitution.
“In some cases, their privies have even called for the establishment of an Interim Government.
“The latest of such are the comments made by Datti Baba-Ahmed on behalf of himself and Mr. Peter Obi on Channels TV on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, wherein he threatened that if the president-elect is sworn in on May 29, 2023, it would ‘signal the end of democracy’.
“Posing as an accuser, a judge and a jury all by himself, he unilaterally declared the duly elected president-elect as ‘unconstitutional’ and, in a subliminal manner, threatened mayhem if the president-elect is sworn in on May 29, 2023.
“It is noteworthy that Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed have submitted elections petitions to the courts for adjudication, but their conducts and utterances amount to a subversion of the processes they have instituted in court and a subversion of our Constitution and the laid-down processes for addressing disputes and grievances. These conduct and utterances are a build-up to something more sinister and it is important you rein them in now!
“In the circumstance, I submit this petition in my personal capacity as a patriotic Nigerian to invite/arrest, interrogate and after investigation, if necessary, charge both individuals to court for their conducts, which amount to incitement and treasonable felony.”
But the chief spokesperson of the Obi/Datti Campaign Organisation, Dr. Tanko Yunusa in a swift response described Keyamo as a known rabble-rouser and chatter box, who doesn’t want to lose political relevance before his paymasters.
Yunusa said Baba-Ahmed is a free citizen of Nigeria and entitled to his fundamental right of freedom of expression, adding that he never called for insurrection or any act envisaging treason.
He said: “Keyamo talked about healing, that means Nigeria is sick, that means he recognised that the February 25 election, which announced his principal as the president-elect and the March 18 state elections, were marred with rigging, high level violence, voter suppression and intimidation, orchestrated by his party.
“Surprisingly, Keyamo who claims to be a ‘patriotic citizen’ closed his eyes to the ethnic and tribal vitriolic by his party and their supporters against non-Yoruba’s in Lagos. The so-called ‘patriotic citizen’ didn’t report MC Oluomo, who told Igbos not to vote in Lagos.
“After the shameful Chatham House appearance of Keyamo’s principal, he was recorded telling key supporters to fight, snatch, grab, and run with ballot boxes, which was exactly what happened in the elections. Why didn’t Keyamo the ‘patriotic citizen’ report to the DSS?”
IN another development, the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended a former governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayo Fayose, his Katsina State counterpart, Ibrahim Shema, as well as former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, as well as two other party leaders.
The suspension, according to a statement by PDP’s national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, took effect from yesterday.
It also said that after very extensive review of the affairs of the party in the country and pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), it referred the governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
Other party leaders, who were equally suspended, were Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State) and Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).
The PDP urged all leaders, critical stakeholders and members across the country to remain united and focused “at this critical time.”
Sources within the party headquarters hinted that its leadership took the decision as part of measures to halt the G-5 group from carrying out its threat to effect leadership change immediately after the elections.
Leader of the G-5 group and governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has been talking about the urgent need to restructure the PDP.
Fayose has described his suspension from the PDP, by the Senator Iyorchia Ayu-led NWC “the last kick of a dead horse.”
Responding to his suspension, Fayose, through his Spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, said: “Ayu and his cohorts are only entertaining themselves with the purported suspension as their latest comedy skit.”
Wike said if anyone deserves to be suspended from the party, it is Ayu, who he accused of contravening the PDP constitution on the zoning of elective and appointive offices.