By Reuben Nwankwo
Mr Festus Keyamo, Hon Minister of state, Niger Delta Affairs.
A Civil Society Organization CSO, Movement for Institutional Integrity, MII has cautioned individuals and group reading negative meanings into the photograph of the Honorable Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN, with an FBI alleged Fraud suspect, Jerry Ikogho to desist from doing so, saying: it is tantamount to making scary mountain out of a mole hill as people take photograph everyday in group with celebrities, friends, neighbors, schoolmates etc not minding who could be a crime suspect tomorrow or king the next day.
Some conventional newspapers, online platforms and social media have given unnecessary preoccupation to this empty speculation where as so many news items deserving coverage are left un-publicized raising question of what interest it is or who could be sponsoring it .
In a press statement released in Abuja Saturday and signed by the body’s National Coordinator, Comrade Uchejiaku Obuna, the group described as callous, malicious and mischievous, the attitude of certain people who are fixated on the photograph of Keyamo with the alleged suspect forgetting thousands of photographs where My Keyamo appeared with important personalities in the society.
“As an important and sociable Nigerian who grew up in a part of the country, attended schools and Churches; lived with neighbors, has professional colleagues and above all ascended to celebrity status, Mr Keyamo is free to be sighted in photo with myriad of people. It is an absurdity to use the present or future character of people sighted in such photograph to judge him. Doing so will just be analogous to calling a dog bad name to nail it” the statement added.
It further called on those ‘holier than thou’ elements trafficking the propaganda to reflect on how they could strategically deploy the positive attributes of Nigerians and their leaders to promote the country in international fora rather than dwelling on fruitless effort to tarnish the good image of illustrious and industrious Minister insisting that nobody will buy into that intrigue as Mr Keyamo is well known and his antecedent shining examples.
The statement also called on President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Nigerian Government as well as the Government of the United States to discountenance the insinuation being raised with the photograph as it is a grand design of fifth columnist to damage the rising profile of Mr Keyamo who is a ranking senior advocate, human right activist and now a well meaning government functionary.
The body advised the minister not to be distracted by the issue which according to the statement is speculation without fact, calling on him to remain steadfast in his national duties in the same way he has always been predicting that posterity will surely crown his service to humanity.