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    Festus Keyamo says Eedris Abdulkareem begged him for money, and he’s got receipts

    Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has accused rapper Eedris Abdulkareem of dissing him in his new song because he refused to help him with money back in 2018.

    To understand the feud between both men, one has to return to Abdulkareem’s 2004 socio-political anthem (a street banger at the time) ‘Nigeria jaga jaga’ where he raps:

    If you see Keyamo bia bia (beards)

    Dem lock am for jail for Abuja

    Kingsley Agbese sef dey for there

    Ade Bendel na him dey feed all of them

    Yekpa!! Inside prison prison

    Everything scatter scatter

    Poor man dey suffer suffer

    Gbosa, gbosa, gunshot inna di air

    Nigeria had just returned to civil rule at the time, Olusegun Obasanjo was President and the likes of Festus Keyamo, Femi Falana, Gani Fawehimi and other civil rights activists were still in the trenches, giving governments hell and calling out perceived ills of the political class.

    Abdulkareem’s ‘Jaga Jaga’ was a commentary on how badly run Nigeria was and how everything was falling apart.

    Abdulkareem hails Keyamo in 2004 for his time in jail during the dark, jackboot days of the military era.

    He reminds us that Keyamo couldn’t shave his beards while being tortured in a detention facility.

    ‘Chopping with cabal’
    Now fast forward to 2018 and Keyamo (with the bia bia) has just been appointed Director of Strategic Communications of the Buhari re-election Campaign Organisation.

    Abdulkareem saunters into Abuja and reminds Keyamo of the 2004 namedrop.

    “Baba, good afternoon. Are you back in Abuja? It’s Eedris Abdulkareem..If you see Keyamo bia bia…” the rapper writes in one of the WhatsApp screenshots published on Keyamo’s Twitter page on the night of Saturday, April 24, 2021, by the minister.

    To cut a long story short, Keyamo says Abdulkareem gets back at him and the Buhari administration in the remix of Nigeria Jaga Jaga (Jaga Jaga reloaded) because he refused to help Abdulkareem with some money.

    First, says Keyamo, Abdulkareem pitches a couple of songs for the Buhari re-election campaign.

    Keyamo likes the songs but tells Abdulkareem that there isn’t a budget for these songs and that he’s only working on the campaign in a voluntary capacity.

    “I have a material that will interest you in support of his Excellency President Buhari. Please fix a date let me see you,” another desperate looking message, purportedly from Abdulkareem and made public by Keyamo, reads.

    Next where financial requests and appeals for Keyamo to introduce him to Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami and Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, from Abdulkareem.

    Amaechi was the Director General of Buhari’s campaigns in 2015 and 2019.

    Keyamo writes: “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.

    1.) 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— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) April 24, 2021

    “He then switched to the fact that he wanted a loan to pay for his hotel bills to the tune of N1.3 m and to cater for his ‘sick mum’. That was already running into more than N3m. However, one govt functionary called me to say he told him another story that his child was sick.

    1.) 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— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) April 24, 2021

    “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’.

    “After our victory, he went berserk and joined every protests 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.

    Godswill Akpabio (left) and Festus Keyamo (right) [Twitter@toluogunlesi] 2
    Godswill Akpabio (left) and Festus Keyamo (right) [Twitter@toluogunlesi] 2
    “Now, the latest is the ‘jagajaga reloaded’ that he has waxed to vent his frustrations at not getting into the system. His reference to me as ‘chopping’ reminds me of the gaffe of then Minister Sunday Afolabi who infamously said Bola Ige was invited to Govt to ‘come and chop’!,” Keyamo writes.

    In Jaga Jaga reloaded, which features Madarocka Chi and Mr. Raw, the tune opens with the prescient line: “It’s been 20 years and Nigeria still jaga jaga.”

    Soon enough, Abdulkareem is tearing the Buhari administration to shreds. He calls the present order “democracy-military”, references the Lekki toll shooting of unarmed protesters of October 20, 2020, cites the sundry human rights violations of the Buhari era, calls Buhari a nepotistic leader (Your ojoro don too much) and on and on it goes, until there’s some space left for Keyamo at the end.

    In any case, it’s a remix and if Keyamo made the original back in 2004, it only makes sense that he should make the remix, yeah?

    So Eedris raps, complete with adlibs and chants from the featured artistes, as the song tapers to a glorious ending:

    Fela Kuti you remember Kalakuta

    Obasanjo na you be my father

    Wey Festus Keyamo sef…e don dey follow the cabal o

    E don dey chop with the cabal o (wicked, throaty laughter follows).

    Keyamo writes of his second coming in Abdulkareem’s commentary on the sad state of affairs in Nigeria: “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.

    “Finally, we can all sit back and enjoy the ‘jagajaga reloaded’. One of the objectives of the song is to call me out since I ghosted him for attempted extortion – he has now succeeded. Another objective is to help promote the song by my reaction – that he has also achieved!”

    Well, there you have it. You can enjoy Jaga Jaga reloaded below:

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