On Saturday night, the Nigerian social media space was agog after the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, called out rapper Eedris Abdulkareem for dissing him in a new song titled “Jagajaga reloaded”, a remix of his 2004 hit single.
In the track, Eedris Abdulkareem condemned police brutality, the current administration citing the worsening conditions in Nigeria and also lamented the infamous Lekki killings of October 20, 2020.
The rapper also mentioned the minister in the track accusing him of corruption, with the line asking “Where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal o”.
Responding to Eedris, Keyamo in a tweet (now deleted) accused the rapper of blackmailing him for refusing to give him money to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign.
He said: “Abdulkareem just released a song, ‘jagajaga reloaded’, where he waxed the following lyrics, “where Festus Keyamo sef? He don dey chop with cabal oh”. I laughed out so loud and even danced to the rhythm too. But there is a small story behind this poor attempt at blackmail.
“In 2018, when I was named the Director of Strategic Communications for Buhari Campaign Organisation, Eedris wrote a song in support of Buhari and wanted to join us, albeit for a fee. He then made desperate efforts to see me through text messages from his phone number.
“When I finally met with Eedris, 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 and that was the same thing I told so many other so-called activists-by-day-and-hustlers-at-night who secretly approached me then.
“He begged me to introduce him to Malami (AGF), Amaechi and the SGF and to paint a good ‘PR’ for him. Eedris 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 Abubakar and called Buhari a ‘fraudster’.
Keyamo also added that Eedris has been criticizing him and the government since then.
“After APC victory, Eedris went berserk and joined every protest against the same Buhari whom he wanted to serve with his ‘body and soul’, but needed money to do so.
“Eedris has been mentioning my name specifically at occasions as if I am the cause of his troubles in life.
“Now, the latest is the ‘jagajaga reloaded’ that he has used 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 government to ‘come and chop’!,” the minister said.
Furthermore, Keyamo noted that he is not in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ‘chop’.
“I wish to assure Eedris and anyone who thinks being in government is tantamount to ‘chopping’, that for some of us (I can’t speak for others) it is just an honour to serve Nigeria and an attempt to move from armchair criticism to a real participant in order to make a difference.
“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 Eedris for attempted extortion which he has now succeeded.
“Another objective is to help him promote the song by my reaction which he has also achieved,” Keyamo said.
However, Eedris hitting back at Keyamo narrated his own side of the event said: “When he [Keyamo] was in prison, I stood by him, I fought (Olusegun) Obasanjo on behalf of all the comrades in prison. I released Jagajaga. When my mother was dying, I reached out to a brother, or one I thought was a brother and a comrade. Could he have helped, yes, did he help, NO…such was the wickedness of his heart that he munched and kept personal details for three years…real Hallmark of a Blackmailer!
“In 2018, I still thought the man was a comrade. Thought he could effect change in the government he served. Then he joined the cabal, he became inner caucus and held the steering wheel spiralling Nigeria into doom. He joined to crush the revolution of the youths, he joined the cabal. The cabal which mowed down our youths at LEKKI TOLL GATE.
“With a vexed spirit, I went again to the studio for ‘Jagajaga Reloaded’ and the Blackmailer went to town. The cabal is awoken. The cabal is hit. The cabal is in pain. The cabal is failing. The cabal will fall.
“The Blackmailer said I recorded a song for Buhari. The said song is titled: ‘Obasanjo Write Buhari Letter…’
“Issues raised on Jagajaga Reloaded are facts. Nigeria never had it so bad. The Jagajaga has taken a gargantuan dimension. We must keep asking questions. We must ask the cabal questions.
“Festus Keyamo don join the cabal. He is in pains because his next ambition is to be governor of Delta State. Perhaps to localise grand looting, terrorism, murdering and raping of our citizens, kidnapping, which his cabal have romanticised and packaged as banditry, and sundry other mis-governance. This is why Jagajaga ti get e! Festus Keyamo na cabal.”