Festus Keyamo unhappy with Archbishop Onaiyekan, says ‘Tinubu will be sworn in’

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The Nigerian Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, is upset by a statement attributed to a former Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan.

The plan to inaugurate President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29th has been met with disapproval from Archbishop Onaiyekan.

The Archbishop said, “It doesn’t make much sense” to be sworn in before the conclusion of the election tribunal.

Peter Obi from the Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar from the Peoples Democratic Party are disputing the results of the February 25th general election after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the APC candidate as the winner.

Bola Tinubu
Bola Tinubu

On Wednesday, the Archbishop said, “There are cases in court that have not been disposed of. That is why we are in an anomalous situation. We have a president-elect whose election is being challenged and the court is handling it,” he said.

“I’m still waiting for the court to tell me who won the election. It doesn’t make much sense to be swearing in people when they are still in court.

“I know it has happened with governors, but the outcome has really not been the best of all cases. I think we need to review our election process, so we do have a winner who will be sworn in and whom everybody will rally around.

But on Thursday, the Minister, who always runs to the defence of the All Progressives Congress (APC), reacted, “All issues raised against the victory of Tinubu in court now (whether it is 25% votes in FCT or the fake drug issue, etc), are not different from issues raised against previous presidents-elect because basically, the complaints have always been that the declared victor did not win the election fair and square or was not qualified to contest the election,” Keyamo said.

“No disqualifying issue against a candidate can be greater than other disqualifying issues since a single issue can decide a case against a President-elect.

“So, why all the fuss now? It has always been our electoral template since 1999 for the declared winners to be sworn into office in order to avoid a vacuum and not to foist an unconstitutional contraption on the system whilst the cases are in court.”

Keyamo warned Onaiyekan to “consider stepping back from the deep and murkey waters of politics and desist from descending into the arena of political conflicts,” adding, “The embarrassment to the body of Christ is getting too much and no politician is worth dragging this dignified body into unnecessary political controversy. Is this too much to ask, Daddy?”

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