Festus Keyamo believes that Maina's controversial re-reinstatement through the backdoor could be used to sell President Buhari ahead of next year.
Festus Keyamo, the head of communications for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election organization, has said he will use Maina scandal to campaign for the president.
Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, had been a suspect over allegations of misappropriating N100 billion while in office.
The civil servant was dismissed in 2013 by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service. With the incoming administration of Mr Buhari, Maina, a fugitive, resurfaced in 2017 and was not only secretly reinstated but also promoted.
When this came to the knowledge of the public, Nigerians roundly criticised Mr Buhari. But in the current edition of The Interview Magazine, Mr Keyamo said the scandal cannot be used to criticise the president.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) instead opined that the Maina saga is a credit to President Buhari.
He also said he would use it to campaign in support of the president because the president reacted promptly to the issue when it was brought to his knowledge.
“Where are all those people now? Are they in office? Deziani, of all story of sleaze, did she not remain in office till the end?” Keyamo asked.
“People should not make silly comments in the public. The Head of Service, the Attorney general of the Federation, including the Minister of Internal affairs, they all appeared before the National Assembly.
“They told us in graphic terms, how these memos were raised. And these memos moved from one office to the other. All of these memos from HoS to SGF, minister to AGF, all of these, was there one to the chief of staff to the president? We should not be pessimistic or cynical for nothing. All of these memos that moved up and down, was there one to the president before the HoS was queried?
“When there were reports that Maina had been recalled, it took the president less than 24hrs to order his sack. So, what is the criticisms; that the moment it became clear, it took less than 24hrs to sack him? So, I will not want to dance to the tune of the opposition that will keep repeating a sing song hundred times and make people believe the sing song.
“Maina cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be a point of criticism to the president. For me, the Maina saga is credit to the president. The Maina saga, I will use it to campaign. You will use it to criticise but I will use it to campaign. That is because the man reacted to issue of corruption and back-door handling of an issue when it came to his knowledge,” Mr Keyamo said.