Don’t be surprised when next you see former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, you discover he is wearing a new garb- presidential aide to Dr.Goodluck Jonathan.
He knows well how to recant and worm his way back to the heart of people he had thoroughly tongue-lashed and castigated before. Sample: Fani-Kayode had in the past, through his writings in the media, called former President OlusegunObasanjo all kinds of unprintable names and upbraided the retired Ota-general many times over.
But when he needed a job badly he repented and went cap-in-hand to beg Baba as Obasanjo is fondly called. Pronto, Fani-Kayode became President Obasanjo’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, his first job at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa.
As Obasanjo’s SSA, he was more of an attack dog for the former president, assailing his political foes and other enemies out there, during which time many would contend he made more enemies for the former president. But Obasanjo himself being a cranky fellow who enjoys giving his detractors a piece of his acidic tongue, he simply rewarded Femi with a plum appointment, making him minister of aviation.
Fani-Kayode, however, fought through the skin of his teeth and sweated profusely on the floor of the Senate to get his nomination confirmed.
Many in the hallowed Senate chambers he had either abused before or abused their mentors or their mentors’ mentors before simply waited for him. But being what he is-a suave individual, smooth-talking with good diction having attended ivy league schools abroad- he talked his way through the Senate.
He apologised profusely to the senators, saying he was simply doing his job as the armour-bearer of President Obasanjo. He had his way; his appointment was ratified.
Fani-Kayode is employing the same tactic at present. After he had abused and lambasted President Jonathan in newspaper articles and radio and television interviews and had condemned some of Jonathan’s policies and decisions on a consistent basis, he put an icing on the cake- he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party he professed to belong to, to the opposition All Progressives Congress. And for effect, he made the declaration joining APC within one of the party’s enclaves- Ekiti State Government House.
Perhaps, many in APC took the Ile-Ife, OsunStateborn politician serious as he was junketing from Ekiti to Akure to Osogbo and to Lagos. Meanwhile, his case with EFCC for allegedly mismanaging some of the funds under his care as aviation minister was (and is) still running in court. He perhaps felt it was time to make his move and beg the president.
He sought an audience and emerged at Aso Rock Villa. Fani-Kayode had planned it to be a secret affair but the ubiquitous media hounds at the villa, perhaps at the prompting of the ‘wonderful people’ at the place, gave him away.
Cornered with no way to escape, he said to the journalists when asked what he was doing at Aso Rock: “This is a presidential villa. The President is the President of Nigeria, Every single person in this country who is a Nigerian is entitled to come here from time to time when the doors are open to come and pay their respect to the wonderful people here. As a Nigerian, I have done that today and I’m delighted to be here”.
We learnt Fani-Kayode has visited Aso Rock at least on one or two other occasions since then and on one occasion he was sighted in the office of Chief of Staff to the President, James Arogbofa.
So for Fani-Kayode, the summersault may soon yield fruits. But not to worry, that is the way of many at the Villa. Did n’t the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Reuben Abati abused and lambasted the president many times over in his columns in The Guardian only for him to return to work for the same man he had condemned?