Hashtag ‘Festus’ has been trending on Twitter since Saturday after the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, denied using stolen funds to purchase properties abroad.
This follows a trending video on social media, which showed a property in the United States, alleged to be linked to the Minister.
In response, Keyamo confirmed that the property was his, but stated that he had purchased it using proceeds from his legal practice.
The Minister explained that he had written to relevant government agencies on March 6, 2019, informing them of the closure of his foreign account(s) and the repatriation of funds to the country, which were savings he had made as a private legal practitioner and a property investor over decades.
In a statement on Twitter, Keyamo noted that he had posted the video of him exercising in front of the US property to bait those he called “sore losers” at the last elections.
He went on to say that they had fallen for the bait and that they assumed everyone would wallow in the same moral squalor as them.
The Minister’s statement added that the foreign funds were lying in his accounts before he became a Minister in 2019, and he later used them to purchase the property.
He maintained that the purchase of his properties abroad did not involve any illegal funds, but rather were from legitimate sources.
His reaction to the allegation has sparked outrage on Twitter.
A lawyer @MalcolmInfiniti said: “My Properties Abroad Not Acquired With Public Funds, I Got Them With Money I Made From Legal Practice – Festus Keyamo. KEYAMO who asked you ? Why are you afraid of your shadow ? Bro ! As a public officer you cannot audit yourself , so don’t just let us go there @fkeyamo”
@ImIfeanyiOnuoha said: “you manage to flaunt your wealth and privilege with such ease, despite being a part of the government responsible for the mass suffering, unemployment, and poverty in Nigeria.
“Your tweet is a shining example of how out of touch you are with reality, as you boast about your properties abroad and your “modest” vacation, while ordinary Nigerians struggle to make ends meet.
“Your claim of having a “huge reputation of honour, integrity, and accountability” is laughable, given your role in a government that has consistently failed to address the needs of its citizens.
“Your assertion that you have championed the fight against corruption is equally ludicrous, considering that corruption remains rampant in Nigeria, and your government has done little to curb it.
“It’s amusing how you try to justify your wealth by citing your decades-long practice of law and investment in real estate.
“Still, the fact remains that you hold a position of public trust and authority, and your actions should reflect the interests of the Nigerian people, not your personal gain.
“It’s funny how you speak of “low moral standards” while ignoring the moral depravity of the current government’s policies.
“Your attempts to justify your wealth and privilege only show how out of touch you are with the realities of the country you claim to serve.
“It’s great to know that you don’t need government funds or patronage to get by, but what about the millions of Nigerians who do?
“Have you ever stopped to think about how your policies affect their lives? Or are you too busy counting your properties and chatting with the heads of government agencies to care?
“You seem to take great pleasure in taunting those who criticize you, referring to them as “sore losers” and “haters.”
“However, perhaps you should take a moment to reflect on why so many Nigerians are unhappy with your government’s performance and the apparent lack of empathy shown by those in power.
“Your tweet reeks of arrogance and entitlement, and your attempts to justify your wealth only serve to highlight the stark inequality and injustice that persists in Nigeria.
“Please, by all means, continue to make more videos showing off your wealth. It’s not like Nigerians have more pressing issues to worry about, right?”
@Hiikyaator said it is within the rights of Nigerians to ask him how he got money to acquire the house in the United States.
“It is within our Right to ask Festus Keyamo about the House in the US! He is a serving minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We want accountability and it’s starts now. We will not ask Dangote or Otedole, they are not Government workers.
“Festus Keyamo built this house in Ikoyi around 2020-2021 , he bought the land almost 1billion. Mr Minister of Labour, come and tell Nigerians where you got this money. Wealth without Enterprise,” @adaigbo_2022 reacted.
@MikaelCBernard said Keyamo’s house is nothing compared to president-elect Bola Tinubu’s property in the U.S.
“Festus Keyamo’s houses in US is chicken change compared to Bulaba’s property in the US.
“The man, his wife and children have more than 10 houses in their own name, and also have several houses in the name of their company.
“When I have time, I’d share it here along with their value. Hopefully agbado people will see what their oga and his children are enjoying and have some brain.”