PMB, energy and a media combatant!
Nigeria’s president Mohammadu Buhari, PMB is not a typical Nigerian politician but a born again democrat, who in proving the depth of his epiphany, addressed his people in his inauguration speech that “he belongs to everybody” even in a country where everybody belongs to nobody! This, perhaps, is one of the reasons why agents of moral denudation, apostles of “business as usual and fifth columnists have taken over all reasonable space in the media to propagate well garnished lies, half truths and outright denigration of the president’s good will and intentions.
The President has two media aides; Mallam Garba Shehu and Mr Femi Adesina who are time tested professionals in the business of information management and who also are doing their very best to sell the president’s agenda before Nigerians but it will appear their best is a mismatch to the terabytes of misinformation in the air! Beyond travelling with the president and attending meetings with him, photos of which are displayed on Facebook and Twitter together with communiqués, Nigerians want to know what the president is doing about the issue of interrupted darkness, fuel scarcity, climate change, foreign investment, unemployment, campaign promises and so on and so forth. While the president is busy working, those against him are also working and by the time he is set to implement his programs, he suddenly has another ‘demon’ to deal with.
This is why a proactive media combatant for the president is urgently needed. One whose job it will be to answer queries emanating from the presidents twitter followers as well as address the terabytes of misinformation available free of charge in the air. If it is funds that are the problem, by now, everybody should have realized it shouldn’t. Such a person should be available on a daily basis in the social media and should have unfettered access to Mr President day and night for consultation purposes such that he doesn’t work without supervision! Apart from this, the president needs to address Nigerians at least, once quarterly on the state of the nation. For every foreign media interviews, there should be a local one more Nigerians can tune to so as to hear and feel Mr president.
The group managing director of the state owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC who also doubles as the honourable minister of state for petroleum resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu is a man whose track records speak volumes, a professional with a curriculum vitae that will confound the devil! Yet, he is also a man who has spent the better part of his working career in an organized private sector, the biggest oil company in the world leaving at the very top level management position to start another life in the public and political sectors of Nigeria’s economy.
In the private sector, instructions are shot out and cascaded down the ladder to be followed through, same to some extent in the public sector but not so in the political sector where one has to contend with the national assembly, politicians and fifth columnists who may bring one down with his agenda if not properly engaged. Mr Kachikwu is learning the ropes of a different world now as relationship with the people matters most in everything he does. The few times he has spoken, he has been misconstrued and rubbished.
Yet, his assignment is critical to Nigeria and Nigerians and he must therefore engage them, not in the language of ExxonMobil Corporation but the language Nigerians understand. He therefore needs a media combatant like the president and like yesterday! That way, while he is working, somebody is watching his back and checkmating the opposition from making him a subject of ridicule and and an object of pity. He can learn from the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El Rufai on how he does this.
The Honourable Minister of Power, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola is a man that needs no further introduction, at least, in Nigeria. He is a man who knows how to engage his people, how to marshall his arguments and how to advance his cause to the good of the greater number of people. He did this successfully in Lagos as the immediate past governor through town hall meetings etc. Ever since his appointment, all these progressive engagements appears to have been jettissioned.
Could it be that the work of a minister is more demanding than that of a state governor like Lagos? The honourable minister needs to know that his people see him often but more than this, they need to hear him often as much as they want to feel him often. If it can help, he should get a media combatant in the order of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, so that his people will know that the ministers cock is sweating but the feather of work will not allow them notice.
Informed Nigerians who form a tiny minority of the population know and appreciate what these men are doing but the uninformed, impressionable and vulnerable who, unfortunately forms the majority here needs to be kept abreast of developments and for their sake, these men need a media combatant like sunshine!
Kayode Adeoye is an energy analyst from Lagos.