By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJA—Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, under the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Sunday, carpeted the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, over the latter’s criticism of former aides of Chief Obasanjo who have been attacking President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration lately.
Fani-Kayode who was reacting to an article written by Abati, titled “The Hypocrisy Of Yesterday’s Men’’ published in the media, did not only disagree with the President’s spokesman but also said Mr. Abati “sought to ridicule and demean” those who served under former President Obasanjo.
According to the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Abati’s article is a smear campaign and an attempt to intimidate him and his colleagues.
Ostensibly irked by Mr. Abati’s comment on the closure of Port-Harcourt Airport under Chief Obasanjo, Chief Fani-Kayode said the insistence on transparency in the administration of the nation’s foreign reserve had clearly annoyed the Presidency.
He said: “Abati indulged in a response other than to say that, I ‘shut down Port Harcourt Airport for two years’ and ‘allowed grass to grow all over it.
“This is false. It is a classic case of disinformation coming from a man that is obviously suffering from a very low self-esteem. It is clear that Abati, who is a journalist, has forgotten the most important tenet of his profession which is that ‘facts are sacred and opinion is cheap.”
In his explanation, the closure of the Port-Harcourt Airport was due to the Sososliso plain crash which affected the runway and was not deliberately closed by the government of Obasanjo.