Worried by the dust raised by a newspaper article he wrote against Prof Ibrahim Gambari, new Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2008, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, is said to have adopted a new way to repair any sort of damage that article might have caused to his relationship with the ex-United Nations diplomat.
According to informed Aso Villa sources, Adesina, knowing the importance of the office Gambari now occupies in the President Buhari administration, has been writing persuasive articles but using the names of other persons to push them out to the public in a desperate move to ‘soften’ the heart of the new Chief of State and make him forgive and forget the incident of the past.
Sources also said that Adesina had been using Aso Villa mail distribution list to circulate the articles in order for them to hit maximum reach.
Recall that Adesina had in his column on Saturday, July 12, 2008 in the SUN Newspaper said Gambari enslaved himself to please his paymasters by defending the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others by the late General Sani Abacha military regime.
He wrote, “Gambari enslaved himself to please his paymasters. Now, 13 years after, the shackles are still tied around his neck, threatening to asphyxiate him. What an eternal lesson for fawning bootlicking grovellers to learn. Old sins indeed have long shadows.”
However, in one damage-control article seen by SaharaReporters on Wednesday, the writer, believed to be Adesina but hiding under another identity, while justifying the 2008 missile to Gambari, wished both presidency officials a good working relationship in the service of President Buhari and Nigeria.
The article expressed optimism that Adesina would find it easy to get along with the new Chief of Staff, whom was encouraged to allow the past slip away forever.
The article reads partly, “President Buhari and Adesina are great friends who deeply respect each other. For Buhari, Adesina is a bosom friend united in their quest for a new Nigeria. When Adesina's mum passed on in the days of our struggle for his enthronement, General Buhari attended her burial. You can count the times he had honoured anyone in that manner on your fingertips. To underscore their bond, it may interest you to recall that Adesina was the very first person given appointment by President Buhari after he assumed office in 2015. I was notified as soon as Adesina arrived at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
“I am certain Adesina would find it very easy to get along with Prof Ibrahim Gambari as Chief of Staff because they are united in their resolve to give the President the best of themselves.
“Adesina, being a cultured Yoruba man and a good Christian, will respect and support Prof Gambari not only as a matter of duty but in conformity with cultural etiquettes of according elders respect due our parents and, Biblically, as though serving God. Nothing will obstruct that. Not any mischievous reference to an old article.
“I am quite certain the article would have no impact on Prof Gambari's attitude to Adesina as a thoroughbred academic for whom criticism is a norm, and as a cosmopolitan world citizen who has waded through many troubled waters, seeking peace across the world during his stint as super-diplomat/ Under-Secretary General with the United Nations.
“I wish both Prof Gambari, our father, our teacher, and my brother, Adesina, a good working relationship in the service of President Buhari and Nigeria.”
According to the sources, since the death of Buhari’s former Chief of State, Abba Kyari, Adesina and fellow Presidency spokesperson, Garba Shehu, have found their stay at the Villa shaky.
Shehu had a well-publicised standoff with First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, in December 2019 where she accused him of causing crisis in the first family.
On the other hand, Adesina’s position has come under intense threat following the emergence of Gambari, who he once tore into shreds in his newspaper column.
With Kyari gone, the protection both men enjoyed in the Villa by being loyal to him has since been stripped off them, thereby exposing them to any type of ‘attack’.
It was gathered that more of such strategic and fence-mending articles will surface in the coming days and weeks as Adesina desperately tries to settle old scores with the occupier of one of the most powerful offices in the country today – Gambari.