Emameh Gabriel in Abuja
The Minster of State, Labour and Productivity and spokesperson for APC presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo, has said he was proud to look stupid campaigning for the presidential candidate of his party, Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Keyamo, who again hit back at his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaya, said, “only a genius looks stupid, when doing the right thing.”
The minister, who spoke exclusively to THISDAY, said his party, the APC has the best presidential candidate to market to Nigeria, adding that it was wrong of anyone to assume that Tinubu, was the most difficult candidate to market among other major contenders for the 2023 presidential election.
He said: “I have said it on different fora that Asiwaju is the easiest candidate to market. On the surface, people just thought like ‘is this guy joking? Is he insane?’ By the time we begin to role out the records, the facts and the figures, it will now become clear that nobody is closed to Asiwaju.
“Because, really, it is about what you have done. Governance is not for motivational speakers. Governance is not for smooth talkers. Most smooth talkers are the 419 people,who talk their ways into power. I am sorry, governance is not about that. Governance is about records. Motivational speaking is different from governance. What have they done? People say you can’t campaign for Asiwaju without looking stupid. I have heard such comment and I love that comment a lot.
“You know why I love that comment that you can’t look stupid? Because only geniuses look stupid. The Newtons of this world looked stupid. The Alexander Bell looked stupid, when he talked about inventing the telephone. When the Wright brothers said they needed to invent something that will fly on the air, they said they were sick. Then, these ideas were unthinkable to many. It’s only geniuses that appear so stupid to ordinary people.
“So we are proud to look stupid. To campaign for a genius who appears stupid to everybody now,” he said, citing how Tinubu transformed Lagos to a model and economy hob in the whole of West Africa region.
According to him, “Over the years before Asiwaju came, there was a Bar Beach in Lagos that became a living hell to everyone living on Victoria Island every raining season. Before Asiwaju, government upon government bring down all kinds of stones and materials to stop the waters from taking over the area.
“But Asiwaju came and said, I want to build a city on this water. But he sounded stupid to everyone. That is the ingenuity of Asiwaju. He did not only contain the water, he turned it to the best city in Lagos and that is the Eko Atlantics we have today. I am very proud to be associated with that kind of ‘stupid man’ as they described him.
“When we are saying Atiku is not hundred miles near Asiwaju, you first of all think this is a stupid statement that Keyamo is making. But on a second thought, this is true because Atiku has not been a position to make critical decisions. He has not! He was only given power to go and implement decisions already taken by his boss.
“And even that small task they gave to him, turned out to be a disaster. I am not trying to run him down. ASCON was sold at the most ridiculous price ever. I am sorry, this is an issue-based campaign, I am not using abusive words.
“I am addressing issues and I said Atiku cannot come close to Asiwaju. That is the man that changed the equation of the political calculation of the entire country today. By today, it would have been a one party system, only the PDP.