Festus Adebayo has been dropped as Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. His appointment was announced on Tuesday, June 18. However, this was vehemently opposed by concerned stakeholders within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The grouse against Adebayo stems from his history. The journalist is well known as a vitriolic critic of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Due to this pressure, the appointment was reversed.
Mohammed Isa was named as the new Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in Adebayo’s stead.
Festus Adebayo once served as media adviser to a former governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi. He had also previously worked with Chimaroke Nnamani, a former governor of Enugu State.
Adebayo has also been a regular columnist for major newspapers.
FESTUS ADEBAYO: OUTSPOKEN CRITIC
In his write-ups, Adebayo never failed to hide his disdain for the ruling party and its administration.
One of his articles titled “Who will be Nigeria’s last president?” was repeatedly cited. In it, Adebayo criticised the federal government’s decision to establish a radio station “principally devoted to Fulani herdsmen”.
“I have this hunch that by the time President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office after his second term, there may either be no Nigeria as properly so called or the nagging questions of our existence would have led to the ultimate violent resolution of our identity and leadership crises,” he said.
BMO APPALLED AT ADEBAYO’S SELECTION
The Buhari Media Organisation described Adebayo’s appointment as surprising. The body disclosed that this was “given his antecedents and his undisguised contempt for the APC and President Buhari.”
Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke disclosed this in a statement. They urged him to demonstrate loyalty and integrity on the job.
“In fact, we’re surprised that Adebayo would consider, let alone accept, an appointment under the APC. This is after all he had done to denigrate and diminish the party before, during and after the February elections.
“This was a man who railed unceasingly at the APC and its Presidential candidate. This is the prophet of doom who predicted the imminent disintegration of Nigeria and that Buhari might be the last President of Nigeria,” part of the statement read.
The BMO recalled that the new SA Media to the Senate President had served two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors. Both governors were from the South-west and South-east respectively. They wondered when he became a “born-again progressive”.
“We hereby advise the new media aide to demonstrate his loyalty and commitment to the ruling party by immediately going to his Ward to register with the APC and become a card-carrying member of the party.
“We urge him to use his office to ensure that the bond between his new boss and President Buhari remains unbroken.
“For a fact, the Senate President has avowed his love and loyalty to President Buhari. He has pledged a harmonious working relationship between the National Assembly and the President.
“Nothing must happen to strain or put that relationship in jeopardy”, the group added.
Adebayo’s appointment also generated a storm on Twitter.