Thursday, August 11 2022

President Buhari won the historic 2015 presidential election by defeating an incumbent president in a well-coordinated and funded campaign. Buhari’s message of “change” was well accepted by an overwhelming majority of Nigerians, earning him 15 million votes.

Buhari, again, was re-elected in 2019, making him the second incumbent to do so since 2003. This victory was against well-funded and prolific opposition propaganda.

How has President Buhari’s media team fared over the past six years?

I’ll set a background here. President Buhari, to be sure, is not a speaker by his introverted nature. His deputy, Vice-President Osinbajo, has a better command of public communication. In the end, the Presidency is one of them.

To assess the President’s media team, I will use the following metrics: visibility, audience engagement, and timeliness.

MINISTER OF INFORMATION: ALHAJI LAI MUHAMMED

Alhaji Lai Muhammed need not be introduced for those who have followed political developments over the past decade. He has made a name for himself in the art of being a party spokesperson through his brilliant, timely and necessary interventions as an APC (formerly AC / ACN) image maker. As an opposition spokesperson, no one beats Lai.

His appointment as Minister of Information is a whole different matter. As a minister, he is barely visible. He is supposed to be the most visible minister in Buhari’s government, but he appears to be on vacation. This appears to be the case with agencies reporting to the ministry (NOA, NBC, etc.). His engagement with the media is often below average. But he did a great job attacking CNN about their report on Lekki Toll Gate, causing them to back down. Apart from that and a few other interventions, Lai is largely absent. He is also not, like many in the Buhari Media Team, on time. Problems are allowed to escalate too long before reacting.

MEDIA AND ADVERTISING SPECIAL ADVISOR: FEMI ADESINA

Femi Adesina is fondly remembered by many as a prolific writer, columnist and editor of DAILY SUN. His writing and his call to action are first rate. His sacrifice in working in a hostile environment like DAILY SUN while supporting Buhari deserved praise. Femi is still one of the best writers in the country today. It is doubtful that anyone could surpass Femi in their day.

It’s no surprise that Femi was Buhari’s first appointment in 2015. His performance in power is a whole different matter. What no one can take away from him, however, is his fervor for the nation and his unwavering loyalty to the president.

After Lai, Femi is said to be the most visible in the president’s communications team. Aside from dropping STATE PRESS RELEASES, writing occasional articles, and a few media interviews, its impacts in storytelling and deliberate amplification of the president’s accomplishments have often been left behind. to uncertainty. More often than not, his interventions do not solve the problems. He doesn’t seem confident when speaking to the media, which makes you wonder if he’s hiding something.

To me, he has the ability to do more to protect the president from frequent media attacks. In fact, most of the avenues leading to the media attacks on the president have passed through him and Garba Shehu (more on this later).

SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT ON MEDIA: GARBA SHEHU

Like Femi Adesina, like Garba Shehu. Garba is more of a politician or represents certain political interests on the team than Buhari’s real spokesperson. Like Adesina, her commitments are sometimes very insensitive. Garba’s press releases are known to spark more controversy than anyone in the presidency. In some cases, one wonders if he is actually writing down the president’s thoughts or certain political interests.

In a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, Shehu does a good job of claiming a particular rant, but it is impossible not to admit that he is very powerful in the media team after surviving an open confrontation with the wife. and the president’s children.

Despite all his weakness, reporters in the presidency say Shehu is very sympathetic.

I think the President should call them for serious consideration.

SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT ON MEDIA (OVP): LAOLU AKANDE

A leading Guardian reporter and former American university professor, Laolu Akande has made a name for himself as a journalist. He is believed to be the only Nigerian journalist to interview a sitting US president in the White House, according to Wikipedia.

Therefore, his appointment as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media (OVP) did not surprise many people.

His appointment has paid off largely. Laolu is a clear departure from Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina. When it comes to punctuality, Laolu is often successful. His writings are never nebulous. His media engagement is much more mature than his peers

He was able to use his Twitter account and other social networks to engage Nigerians on the activities of the Buhari administration. However, Akande must try to fill in the gaps left by his elders and also reestablish relations with certain sections of the print media. some of whom engaged in a media war just before the 2019 election. He suffered injuries in those preventable encounters when he faced Dele Momodu and Festus Adedayo. He should make more friends.

SPECIAL TECHNICAL ASSISTANT: LOUIS ODION

There’s not much about him other than his time as a flamboyant columnist at The Cable and his writing for some major newspapers. But there has been no significant impact since his appointment. However, being a retired former Information Commissioner and Editor-in-Chief, perhaps a lot is expected of him to fill some of the gaps in the President’s media team.

SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT PUBLIC AFFAIRS: AJURI NGELALE

Ajuri left his mark for his brilliant presentations at CHANNELS TV. He is known for his ability to verify the facts of his guests, which means he knows his job inside out. This is why his appointment as SSA has been hailed by many.

Ajuri was initially the most engaging presidential spokesperson on the radio. His radio tours have given many Nigerians insight into the plans and activities of the Buhari administration.

But, it seems Ajuri has slowed down or even disappointed lately. Additionally, he had a very limited appearance on major TV channels, drastically reducing his impact – a few appearances on NTA and AIT where he once worked. NTA officials say he was almost barred from accessing the station at one point because some ministers felt he often spoke indiscriminately on policy issues. But it is curious that no one has seen his appearance on Channels TV, his last employer. If necessary, he could repair the fences and be less arrogant.

NEW MEDIA SPECIAL ASSISTANT: TOLU OGUNLESI

Tolu is remembered by many for his brilliant tweets and articles during the #OccupyNigeria protests in 2012. His special media activism is first rate. Therefore, his appointment in 2015 was largely on the basis of competence.

In his role, he did his best to project the activities of the Buhari administration on Twitter. He used his Twitter account to engage Nigerians. He was one of the most active in the 2019 presidential election briefing Nigerians on the Buhari administration’s plans and fighting fake news.

Tolu appears to have had a black eye during the EndSars protest, however, and his subsequent long silence on Twitter around this time was very curious to many who follow him.

Someone like him can be better used in the team, he’s balanced and seen as a professional, especially on social media.

PERSONAL ASSISTANT ON (NEW) SOCIAL MEDIA: BASHIR AHMED AND LAURETTA ONOCHIE

I took these two together because their roles are similar. Both brought their personal resources to Buhari’s victory in 2019. This, in my opinion, was the basis of their nominations.

Much of Bashir’s commitment consists of posting photos of the president and announcing visits to the presidential villa. Onochie’s case involves engaging in “don’t get caught” conversations on social media.

For me, the two don’t have significant contributions to the team.

Breaking News Nigeria


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