The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, has stated that many civil society organisations in the country are indirectly supporting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Keyamo who also doubles as spokesperson for the Tinubu Presidential Campaign Council, said he has noticed a trend where politicians in the guise of CSOs make statements in support of the main opposition party, PDP.
Keyamo said this while responding to The Punch on whether he was considering resigning as a minister following calls in some quarters.
He said, “Without meaning to demean these civil society organisations, I have noticed some disturbing trends from 2015 till date. It heightened in 2019 when we discovered that many of them worked for the opposition party, disguised as CSOs. We even identified some individuals amongst them who had contested offices before under the Peoples Democratic Party.
“I believe that is a call made by the opposition disguised as CSOs. We didn’t hear any noise when some ministers in the past were part of the campaign councils of the opposition party when they were in power.
“Kabiru Turaki was the Minister of Special Duties at that time but served as the Deputy Director North of the Jonathan Campaign team, among others. I am a member of the All Progressives Congress. The party also takes part of my salary to pay my dues. It is deducted from the source. So I’m entitled to take part in party activities. It could be likened to extracurricular activities.
“There is no conflict of interest because I am not using the ministry resources to run this. Also, Section 84 (12) (of the Electoral Act says public officers should resign when they want to participate in political activities, which include running for office, among others, but the section does not include party activities like this, and my kind of duties are not affected.”
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