Why I’m Against Femi Adesina’s Appointment, By Jafaar Jafaar
Let me state clearly that I do not support the idea of appointing the editor-in-chief of The Sun Newspapers, Femi Adesina as Buhari’s spokesman.
I have nothing personal against Mr. Adesina but I believe his appointment would breed peer enmity and transfer of anger.
Adesina is the man who authorised the publishing of the hyper-defamatory advert against President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. Well, he can be forgiven and given the job — that is in the absence of ANY capable hand in the APC.
You think I want Garba Shehu or any Hausa-Fulani to take the job? No! Shehu is over-qualified to take the job but I don’t want Buhari to make the mistake Jonathan did. Let the position even go to the East, if there is any qualified man that supported the cause. Political efforts are rewarded on earth not after death. Jonathan made the mistake of not appointing his key spin masters from the North. This could have made him gain acceptability and give his administration a good image where his image was so badly tarred.
In the APC fold, there are seasoned journalists who actively participated in the change crusade. People like Dele Alake and Dele Momodu played a good role in the Buhari project. It is also not bad if you give Lai Mohammed the position. It is a cabinet position, after all.
Adesina seems to be a consistent supporter of Buhari but I don’t want others who put pragmatic efforts and staked their jobs and businesses to the cause to lose out.
In a recent paper he delivered, Adesina explained that he had to “tone down” the Fayose advert against Buhari before it was published.
Read below my argument after Adesina’s paper about a week before ThisDay broke the story of Adesina’s appointment:
“Let me first ask Mr Femi Adesina, the editor-in-chief of The Sun newspapers, if the “tone down” version of the damaging advert against Buhari, which he authorised his paper to publish, was ethically right. He would say no, I suppose.
“To me, the advert was not only against the ethics but against the law of the journalism profession. In journalism, as in all professions, while adherence to law is mandatory, adherence to ethics is voluntary.
“Before the general election, two Nigerian dailies, The Sun and The Punch, ran defamatory adverts sponsored by Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State against the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
“Adesina’s defence that he toned down the copy only exposed his culpability. Nigerian journalists should have the courage to take the side of the law and ethics, not the side of the dictate and diktat of their publishers.
“As the current president of Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE), Adesina is least expected to publish the defamatory advert. It is ironical that Adesina, expected to set standard for the profession, is the chief violator of professional law and ethics. No reprimand. No sanction. No censure.
“Now get the crux of the matter: Instead of members of the guild to call for his resignation, Adesina was recently re-elected for another two-year term! This tells you the colour of the lot that paint the guild. Quacks, jaded broadcasters, jobless journos, unpaid staffers of nondescript media outfits, corporate panhandlers and a very few qualified journalists.
Notwithstanding the above reflection, the mother organisation, NUJ, is worse than NGE. It is a pariah association where unethical conducts form part of its commandments.
I believe the Fayose-sponsored advert against Buhari was full of defamatory lines, which Adesina should not only have toned down, but should have turned down — completely”.