The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Femi Adesina, has explained why some ministers and other appointees will always defend his principal either in or outside of the office.
He said Buhari’s respect for the dignity of all his appointees and others working with him was part of the reasons why those in his (Buhari) circle will always stand by the President.
Adesina revealed this in an article titled, ‘Inside PMB’s meeting with ministers exiting the cabinet’ which was shared on his Facebook page on Thursday.
The presidential aide said Buhari’s respect for human dignity led to the last week’s valedictory session for appointees leaving the cabinet to pursue political ambitions at different levels.
Giving details of what transpired before relieving service chiefs inherited when Buhari took over power in 2015, Adesina said, “I’ve told this story before, but let me tell it again. The President had retained the Service Chiefs he inherited in 2015 for some weeks, when the usual practice was to remove such people with the speed of light. He didn’t, but kept them for almost two months.
“The day the President decided to appoint new Service Chiefs, he sent for me, and I reported in his office. He told me what he had decided to do, and he gave me the names of the incoming set.
“Then President Buhari gave a strange instruction. “I’ve discussed with the exiting Service Chiefs, but don’t announce their exit immediately. Let them get home, and let them be the ones to announce to their families and friends. It’s not good for a man to have a job in the morning, lose it in the afternoon, and he hears it over the media.”
I told the President that once he had told those Service Chiefs, it would be virtually impossible to keep the news till the next, as he was asking me to do.
The President looked at me with a smile on his face, and declared: “You won’t understand, because you’ve not been sacked before. Me, I’ve been sacked, so I know how it feels.”
“That was how we held back the official news of the appointment of new Service Chiefs for a while. President Buhari believes in the dignity of man. The same thing he did with the two Ministers who had to leave the cabinet involuntarily last year.
“He had privately met with the Ministers of Power, and that of Agriculture and Rural Development, told them that time was up, before the other cabinet members and the nation were told.
“That was not the staple Nigerians were fed with, or used to. They usually would tune their radio sets to Radio Nigeria 4 pm news, or NTA Network News, only to hear that some public officials had been dismissed “with immediate effect.” Some of them would still be in their offices, working, or be at home relaxing with their families, when the news would hit like a thunderbolt. Obviously, many leaders enjoyed that supercilious and cavalier treatment of their appointees, but not President Buhari. He believes in the dignity of man.”
He added that though some of the ministers have since rescinded their decisions to run for elective offices, “that is not the purpose of this piece. The purport is to dwell on the dignity of man, how some leaders love to trample on it, and how President Buhari loves to respect and uphold it. That is why some of us love and admire him, and would stand by him through thick and thin, whether in government or out of it.”