Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has responded to comments made by Cardinal John Onaiyekan, the Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Abuja, regarding the upcoming swearing-in of President-elect Bola Tinubu on May 29.
In a report, Onaiyekan had argued that it would be an anomaly to swear in Tinubu as President since his victory is being challenged in court by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
Keyamo, in a statement posted on his Twitter account, described Onaiyekan’s comment as an embarrassment to the Body of Christ.
His words: “Dear daddy Onaiyekan, you know we all respect you a lot, but your political comments are becoming unstatesmanlike.
“A statesman who doubles as a Man of God should strive to be fair to all. You didn’t say the same thing when Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari were all sworn in as Presidents when their cases were still before the courts.
You have chosen to single out this President- Elect @officialABA this time around because the candidate you and your other religious brethren openly supported lost the election and you all feel humiliated and embarrassed. All issues raised against the victory of @officialABAT 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. 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 fuse 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 whist the cases are in court.
“My dear daddy, may I respectfully advise that going forward, you and your brethren may consider stepping back from the deep and murky waters of politics and desist from descending into the arena of political conflicts where your children in your congregations find themselves on different sides of political divides, so it would be unfair to them for you to openly take sides.
“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?”