Femi Adesina Buhari's spokesperson has a lot of growing up to do

Femi Adesina often comes across as rude and indecorous in his statements. He needs to be better.

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President Muhammadu Buhari and Femi Adesina play

President Muhammadu Buhari and Femi Adesina

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity is always one press statement or response away from inflaming passions and being rude to everyone.

Femi Adesina’s description of former minister Obiageli Ezekwesili as a ‘wailing wailer’ (a term I consider pejorative and which he coined) is discourteous, rude, indecorous and totally unacceptable.

But Madam Ezekwesili is not the only one who has come under diversionary attack from Adesina.

On October 13, 2017, Adesina referred to persons who were taking his principal to task, off the back of comments from the World Bank President, as “insidious…narrow minded…vile…ignorant and mischievous”. Adesina has also reduced calls for restructuring to chants from the opposition.

It has become the norm for persons who speak for the president to always regard everyone as the enemy of government or as a member of the opposition.

That was exactly what happened under Jonathan where the Reuben Abatis, Doyin Okupes and Reno Omokris were allowed to run riot and burn bridges for their principal when they should have been building same by taking on-board criticism and funneling useful tips to what was a sinking administration.

Unfortunately, Adesina and Garba Shehu (Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity) have slipped into the attack dog role of their predecessors, insulting anyone and everyone who criticizes the president.

By doing so, they erode goodwill, alienate the president’s base and fuel hate for an administration whose likeability they are supposed to refine and boost.

Spokespersons shouldn’t be on the defensive all the time. Spokespersons should be proactive and not reactive. Spokespersons should engage the public with refined language and decency. Buhari’s spokespersons often appear as though they are on a mission to see the president fail. Their statements are often laden with bile and more bile.

If Buhari’s spokespersons learnt anything from the Jonathan team, they are yet to show it.

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