[OPINION] Asiwaju 100 Days in Office And Festus Keyamo’s Touch, By Williams Ochonu
Beyond the unprecedented expectations most Nigerians had on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cabinet members, the aviation sector in no time came as a noticeable shooting star to behold.
The marvel on every lips became short of their thoughts, leaving them in awe of what was yet to come.
The ascension of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the seat of Presidency in Nigeria has truly created an atmosphere of renewed hope, most especially, in the aviation sector. Just in his 100 days in office, the appointment of Festus Keyamo (SAN) as the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development has proven to be a masterstroke.
This has made it obvious that the choice of cabinet members leaned toward savvy and competent people.
The progress in the aviation sector was made possible by the minister through the introduction of new reforms and policies. The wise would understand that a choice of Keyamo didn’t come as a surprise because Asiwaju is a pathfinder who is well known to have a penchant for success and a distaste for mediocrity.
For the record, Keyamo is a reputable lawyer, human rights activist, and an outstanding politician. He began his legal career in 1993 at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers in Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria. He later established his law firm, Festus Keyamo Chambers.
Keyamo has represented many prominent Nigerians in high-profile cases, including the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, and the leader of the Movement For The Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike.
Keyamo entered politics in 2015 when he was appointed the Director of Media and Publicity for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council. He played a key role in the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2019, Keyamo was appointed the Minister of State for Labour and Employment. In August 2023, he was appointed the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
With such a track record and pedigree, Asiwaju knew that Keyamo was a viable instrument in his presidential political career. Also aware that over time, Keyamo has proven to be a good dose of aspirin in reviving any dying organization, and a booster when needed for any successful project, girdled with an acumen for conquest that is uncontestable, and a notable drive for greatness, Keyamo’s nomination for the ministerial list was a revelation into the Asiwaju grand plan.
He is a man who has little patience with people who are insensitive to the suffering of ordinary, and vulnerable people in society because he grew up in a tough background, and knows what it means to be vulnerable, let alone toiling with hundreds of lives aboard on every flight all around the nation.
As detractors continued in their merchant of character assassination, Keyamo understood that indecision is the graveyard of good intentions, therefore, he quietly settled into the job and announced himself with some groundbreaking reforms, policies, and innovations.
Being a firm critic who stands up for what he believes, Keyamo isn’t bent by political gimmicks that are not in the interest of Nigerians. The minister is someone who never shies away from a challenge when faced with one. However, over the years, he has earned a reputation for his integrity, honesty, and passion for humanity.
It is worthy of note that Keyamo has brought several ingenious ideas and initiatives to the aviation sector since he was appointed minister.
He has also been a strong advocate for the development of the aerospace industry in Nigeria which has further birthed more harems of positive initiatives as follows:
Being a man of plan and action, with Asiwaju’s support, Keyamo has pledged to establish a new national carrier for Nigeria. He has said that the national carrier will be a world-class airline that will compete with the best in the world.
Keyamo has launched several initiatives to rehabilitate and upgrade airports across Nigeria. He has said that he is committed to making Nigerian airports in class and in comparison with world-class facilities, thereby making Nigeria more visible in the international space.
Keyamo has been a strong advocate for the promotion of domestic aviation in Nigeria. Compassionately considering the cost of flight and standard of living, he has said that he wants to make it easier and more affordable for Nigerians to travel by air within the country.
Keyamo has also been a strong advocate for the development of the aerospace industry in Nigeria. He has said that he wants to make Nigeria a hub for aerospace manufacturing and maintenance.
Keyamo’s actions were as though he knew there was a task ahead, and it clearly shows that the minister came fully prepared for the job despite his late appointment. Keyamo came with the Hallmark to sanitize, revamp, and revive the aviation sector to meet international best practices.
In just a few days in office, Keyamo has made significant progress in the aviation sector, creating a spicy delicacy in the 100 days of President Tinubu’s tenure in office. The launched number of initiatives like the establishment of a new national carrier, the rehabilitation of airports, the promotion of domestic aviation, and the development of the aerospace industry, are testament to the preparedness for his ministerial position.
Keyamo’s initiatives have been well-received by industry stakeholders and the general public. He has been praised for his energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to transforming the aviation sector.
As a serving Minister, Keyamo has restored transparency, accountability, and integrity to the aviation business while winning the trust of stakeholders and international partners through his skilled negotiation.
Keyamo’s Midas touch is evident in the success of his various initiatives in the aviation sector. He has a knack for identifying and implementing solutions to complex problems.
Asiwaju wasn’t wrong when he told Keyamo, “Let’s Fix Nigeria”. He saw him as the best man for the job based on a dispassionate assessment of his previous public office records and superlative antecedents. His green alert for transparency and safety is invaluable, putting him on a pedestal to serve in his current position.
It Is important to rally behind Keyamo, helping to support and promote his initiatives to the general public. With the support of all stakeholders, it’s obvious that he will make Nigeria a leading aviation and aerospace nation.
Ochonu is a public affairs analyst and wrote this piece from Abuja.