• Tinubu, Jonathan, Osinbajo, Gowon to grace book launch

FORMER special assistant to the former President Muhmmadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has revealed that he wept and reluctantly resigned his positions to work with his principal for the eight year period of his two tenure.

He made the disclosure during a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, to herald the launch of his book, “Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser Media and Publicity (2015-2023)” scheduled for launch at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton on Tuesday.


The former presidential spokesperson said the book presentation would be a gathering of who is who, ranging from his principal, Buhari, who he said would be paying his first official visit to Abuja since he left power on May 29 last year, President Bola Tinubu, other distinguished personalities, including former military head of state, Yakubu Gowon, former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, IBM Haruna, among others.

Adesina explained that the launch would also involve presentation of another book, a five volume compendium, by hundred editors that made useful contributions, and edited by Udu Yakubu.

Asked if he reflected the battle with certain persons who are still feeling that he stepped on their toes in the discharge of his function as media assistant, he replied: “There is no fence to mend really. If there is something to mend, we will mend it. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing to mend. There is a whole chapter I called the Wailing Wailer. That is the title of the chapter. How did that appellation come? In the early days of the Buhari administration, you just find out that everything the government did or didn’t do attracted a lot of noise. They thought the more noise they made, the easier they would be heard.

“There was a Peoples Democratic Party spokesman then called Olisa Metuh; if it didn’t rain, he would issue a statement, if it rained too much, he would issue a statement and all was about Buhari. One day, I just did a tweet, I said these people, they don’t know they are out of power and they may not get back to power in a long time.

“I ended that tweet with Wailing Wailer and some people adopted that. They say we are wailers. They abused us. So, they started calling themselves wailing wailers. If they were the ones who adopted that appellation, what apology do I have? Rather, I should accuse them of copyright violation. So, there is no fence to mend,” he insisted.

Explaining his journey into his relationship with Buhari, Adesina said it was a union that has lasted for ages even before Buhari emerged president in 2015, adding that he enjoyed a very cordial working relationship with him.

“Why did I think it is necessary to write about Buhari on the saddle for eight years. I will say I have known him long before I came to work with and for him as his adviser on media. Before then, I had not worked with him and I had no desire to work with him.

“But when the invitation came to work for him, because he was a man I had admired since as a military leader, I decided to take up the appointment. I also had a moral issue because I had supported him since 2003 when he ran. I did in 2007, 2011 until he won in 2015.

“He had invited me to work with him but I declined because I was the managing director of The Sun Publishing Ltd and the president of the Nigeria Guild of Editors. I didn’t want to leave what I was doing because I was enjoying what I was doing then and wanted to possibly retire quietly.

“I, however, reluctantly accepted and I reflected in the book how I cried the day I resigned because I was stepping into a place I don’t know at all. I spent an unprecedented eight years on the saddle. No media adviser before me had such an opportunity under a democratic government. The only person who did it was under a military regime. In fact, there are presidents that used two or three media advisers.

“So, I had the confidence of my principal for eight years, working together harmoniously and seamlessly. Not once did the former president, Buhari, complain anything about me. Rather, he would see me and appreciate me for work well done. It was that kind of relationship that we had.

“There is a certain myth about Buhari. It was a narrative that his political enemies had sold and fed the Nigerian public. I felt that the true narrative needed to be told and that is why I have written the book for Nigerians to know Buhari in flesh and blood. Whenever you lay your hands on the copy of the book, read the preface because it will guide you into the book.

“The book is not about the hardware of governance, the economic, military, foreign policies, but the software of governance and the man who led that government. What propelled him to take certain decisions he took. The book will help Nigerians to know Buhari’s real identity as opposed to the conjuration that they have over decades about Buhari.

“A lot of people didn’t forget December 1983 to August 1985, when a man ruled with an iron fist along with his second-in-command, Tunde Idiagbon (late) from the Buhari that emerged as democratically elected president in 2015. He was in a different mould.

“Embedded in the book is also the checklist of Buhari’s achievements across sectors so that those that want to change the narrative that he did not do anything will get the answer from the books. It is very important that records are kept and preserved for posterity. The book is the veritable reference to his administration,” he explained.