Mr. Femi Adesina, unarguably, is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists.
A former editor of National Concord, managing director of The Sun, president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and now special adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, indeed, the Osun State indigene has made his mark in the profession.
On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, and for one uninterrupted hour, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE, got him to share his thoughts on the challenges of being a presidential spokesman as well as how to be a good journalist, among other issues.
An in-depth and incisive session, it was truly a worthwhile encounter…
How is life as the presidential spokesman?
Hmmm! Thank you. What I would like to say frankly is – don’t be a presidential spokesman if your principal is not your hero. If your principal is not your hero, you are in for a terrible time. But when your principal is also your hero, there’s nothing they throw at you that you won’t bear. Of course, I had always admired President Muhammadu Buhari, right from his days as General Muhammadu Buhari. As military Head of State, I had admired him; when he left office, I still admired him. Later, we were in touch and then he went on to win the presidency. So, when I was then invited to serve as his media adviser, I accepted willingly. If it was someone else, I wouldn’t take the job. If it was someone else, I wouldn’t go to serve in government. Now that I took the assignment because of him, everything people have thrown at me, and I tell you, they have thrown everything, including the kitchen sink! They have thrown it at me. But it doesn’t matter, because I’m serving a man I admire. So, I will say so far, so good. Yes, I’m satisfied serving President Buhari despite everything.
What didn’t you know about government and governance that you only discovered after your appointment as the presidential spokesman?
A whole lot, a whole lot, because this is like a new school. Before I came to serve President Buhari, I had never worked in government before. Since I left school, well, maybe when I served at Lagos Television and I worked briefly at Radio Lagos too. That was the closest I worked in and for government. After that, I had always been in the private sector. The private end of the media. So, my coming to serve as presidential adviser in 2015, I can say, was the very first time I was serving at top level in government. So, there were a lot of things I didn’t know. For instance, in the private sector, I left as Managing Director. If I wanted anything done, it got done immediately. But when you get to government and you want anything done, you have to wait and wait and wait and wait till it goes through some bureaucracy and all that. It was a different ball game for me when I got into government. But between then and now, I have learnt a lot. I have learnt that the ways of government are actually different from the ways of the private sector.
What is the most critical lesson that you have learnt since landing in government?
I believe that it has taught me patience and to overlook so many things. I thought I was a patient person before I came into government, but government taught me a lot of patience. A lot more patience! It taught me to overlook lies, to overlook deliberate malignment of my character, to overlook everything. Everything that is not true and said about me. It taught me to overlook so many things and I think having gone through this learning curve, there’s virtually nothing they will say about me that is not true that will move me again, because everyday, I get lied against. Everyday! I say something, they turn it upside down, I say something, they twist it. Anytime I grant an interview, I just wait for one hour and go online to see how they have started twisting that interview, and most times, I don’t get disappointed. They twist every word I say.
So, what kind of person is really President Muhammadu Buhari?
Haaa! That’s a whole book. But let’s summarise it. President Buhari, I will say; now I see him as a gentleman. Very gentle. You know the Buhari we knew in military rule was an iron-fisted man. Now I see him as a gentleman. Very gentle. President Buhari is a father figure now. He’s still stern, he’s still strict, but he’s more like a father figure. In his first coming, he was somebody seen as being draconian and you know he had this combination with his No.2 man then (Tunde Idiagbon) and the two of them were knocking sense into the heads of Nigerians. When he came back in 2015, a lot of people thought he would be in that same mood. But he realised that then was military rule, this is democracy. He can’t do the things he did then again. So, he’s a patient, calm, easy going man. Then, in Yoruba, we call some people ‘Baba Jeje’. When you see the President, you will see that he’s ‘Baba Jeje’. He’s easy going, calm, he’s just taking things in his stride. He’s a patriot. One day he told some people listening to him that those who think we – me and people of my generation who fought for the unity of this country, before our very eyes, they will dismember this country, then they have another thing coming. He’s a patriot. He said as a soldier he trekked from somewhere in Gakem, I think it’s in Cross River, and they trekked almost to the border with Cameroon. He said having done all that, having been shot at, having been in the front line throughout the civil war, anybody that thinks he will preside over the dismemberment of Nigeria should think again. So, President Buhari is a patriot, he loves the country dearly.
Now, how do you feel anytime you read or see contrary things being said about the President?
Already on my screen now, I have seen somebody who I believe is the chief of wailing wailers (laughter) with a foul comment. People like that, we laugh them to scorn now. When they say all those things, we just laugh and say this one does not know. And some people, not only do they not know, they choose not to know and if they don’t choose to know, they will die in ignorance. That’s their problem. So, we are not bothered about all those negative comments again. Because that’s all that some people do. They never see anything good. Never! Never!
What is the most incredible thing you’ve heard people say about the President?
Of course, it’s the Jubril of Sudan thing. When he came back, he was ill in 2017, he left in January of that year, went for medical attention, he came back in March, stayed through April and first week in May he travelled again. And he didn’t return till August, I think August 19 to be precise, of 2017. Now, when he was to return, somebody just floated that idea that the person coming back was not the real Buhari; that the real Buhari was dead and the person coming back is one Jubril from Sudan. And you know the amazing thing is, people who are learned, who are educated, even professors of science, began to believe that hog wash. We are people that see him everyday, we talk with him everyday; would an impostor be there and we would not know? Now, let me tell this story, I’ve told it before – that day that he arrived was the day General Gabriel Olonisakin, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, was giving out his daughter in marriage, so I attended that wedding. Because it was wedding, I decided to wear agbada and a cap, which is not my usual way of dressing. From that wedding, from the reception, we went to the airport to receive the President. When he got out of the aircraft and he began to shake those in the reception line, when he got to me, he looked at my attire, he said, ‘Adesina, this is the best I have seen you dressed’. Now, the question is, if he was Jubril from Sudan, would he have known Femi Adesina? How would he know that I’m Adesina? Some people do things that don’t make sense. They concoct things, and some people who should know receive it from them and begin to propagate it. So, it’s one of the most incredible things I have heard in Nigeria.
Of all the good things you have heard people say about him, which one has gladdened your heart the most?
You know what gladdens my heart most is that some people love the President to bits. They love the President to bits. I see them online, people I’ve never met and I don’t know. Don’t say anything bad about Buhari or they will give it back to you. I remember that one day I wrote an article – Women Who Love Buhari. Because I had followed them online, I didn’t know them, but I noticed that ‘don’t touch the President’. Hey! These women will come to his defence, they will fight like wild cats. So, I gathered them all together and wrote that piece about them. It gladdens my heart to see that there are people who love the President to bits. Men and women! And let me recall that day, August 17, 2017 when he returned from that medical vacation, to move from the airport to the villa, took us almost one hour. A journey of about 20 minutes. Because people just crowded on the road. It got to a point that the expressway was blocked. His motorcade could not move, could not proceed. People just crowded the road. It shows you how much they love the President. These people, one, were not hired. Two, they were low class people, who are bearing the brunt of the economic problems in the country. But they still trooped out that day to welcome their President. So, I’m glad to see genuine love for our President.
Sector by sector, can we examine the achievements of the President. First, corruption. How would you say he has fared in that sector or area?
Thank you. You know that there was a time in this country that we were told that stealing was not corruption. Now, we know that any form of stealing is corruption. The very realisation that stealing is corruption and corruption is punishable in itself is an achievement. Because there was a time that people didn’t fear anything about corruption. But a new Sheriff came into town and you knew that you do the crime and you serve the time. So, the realisation that corruption is a crime itself is an achievement. Now, you can go to anti-graft agencies – EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and see their achievements, see what they have done, see the number of seizures, see the number of people on trial. Seizures run into hundreds of millions of Naira, seizures run into millions of Dollars. That is evidence that the anti corruption war is well and alive. Is it where we want it to be? No! It’s not there yet, because the executive can only apprehend corrupt people, and drag them before the courts. It is the courts that can convict. The executive does not convict. So, if we have not seen convictions, as we would like to see, that is not the problem of executive. It’s the judiciary arm of government we need to talk to. So, in terms of, is the anti corruption war alive, it is well and alive? Is it making progress? Will everything get done under this government? No, it will not get done. It will be a continuum. We just pray we get the next government that will continue to fight the corruption war as robustly as the Buhari government is doing.
Let’s talk about infrastructure. Could you tell us some of the major infrastructure that the President has accomplished?
Thank you. I’m happy you asked this question, because by the time President Buhari exits in 2023, one of his most defining legacies would be infrastructure. And most of them will come into fruition next year, 2022, a clear year before his term ends. Talk of the Second Niger Bridge. The government that was in power before Buhari came in 2015, built that bridge with its mouth for 16 years. Buhari started it, work is 50 percent done. I remember some leaders of the South-East went to inspect that bridge about two, three weeks ago and they returned a verdict of ‘impressive.’ The Second Niger Bridge is being done and the completion target is the first quarter of 2022. You have the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, which had been left undone for decades. That road is wearing a new look now. In fact, work is progressing at a fast pace on that road. You have the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that had been virtually abandoned. Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is like the artery road between the south and other parts of the country. It’s the busiest expressway in the country. They had been on that road for all of 16 years that PDP spent in government. That road will be completed now in 2022. You have the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway, which is being rebuilt. It’s being expanded and rebuilt. Which is also going to be a major, major artery road in the northern part of the country. You have the AKK Gas Pipeline. AKK is Ajaokuta, Kano, Kaduna Gas Pipeline. It will take gas from the southern part of the country up to Niger Republic, where the market will be. So, you have the AKK Gas Pipeline, which will be finished before 2023. You have the Border Road, it’s in south-south. That was a road that was started 40 years ago. 40 years ago! It’s almost being completed now. You have the Local Oweto Bridge in Nassarawa-Benue side. It has been completed. There are roads, there are bridges. Then, look at airports – Abuja Airport completed; Lagos Airport, a new one is about to be completed; Kano Airport completed; Enugu Airport fully rehabilitated with a runway; Port Harcourt Airport completed. So, you have like an infrastructure renaissance in the country under Buhari and by the time he leaves power, everybody that is anybody that is in his right mind would bear testimony that Buhari made a difference in the area of infrastructure in Nigeria.
Let’s look at the foreign scene, especially the appointment of some Nigerians. Could you shed more light on that? Some Nigerians are really doing very well on the foreign scene…
Well, starting from the United Nations Deputy Secretary General – Amina Mohammed. Amina Mohammed was a Minister of Environment under Buhari when the UN Secretary General requested for her to be his deputy. That was the first major, major appointment the country had under Buhari. Then, after that, we have had Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina as President of African Development Bank. Recently you had Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the first black, the first woman Director General of the WTO (World Trade Organisation). Just yesterday, there was one Prof. Ibe (Kevin) that was also appointed as the Secretary General of the Commonwealth Scholarship Board. I tell you, Nigerians are doing well internationally now. And it’s because the country also has a better reputation under President Buhari. The international world will say if their President is such a man of integrity, then there are other Nigerians who will be in that mode and that’s why Nigerians are being thrown up for these international assignments.
On the economy, tell us what and what the President has been able to do in that sector…
You know that between 2015 and now; the economy has gone through different phases and dimensions. When this administration came in 2015… Nigeria is a mono-product economy and that product is oil. Suddenly, oil that was selling at $100 per barrel, that even went as high as $143 per barrel, crashed in the international market. It dropped to as low as $27 per barrel in 2015. And because it lasted for so long, by 2016, it became inevitable that the economy will go into recession and it indeed went into recession. But because you had a prudent government in place, you had a hardworking government in place, you had a transparent government in place, within one year, that economy came out of recession. That should be attributed to hard work, to transparency, to accountability by Buhari. The little income that Nigeria was making was spent for Nigeria. And so the economy came out of recession in one year. Now, the economy began to grow; the projection for the Nigerian economy is that it must grow at minimum of six percent, before it can touch the lives of the people. Because the economy is assessed vis-a-viz the population of the country. With the population of about 200 million people, economy must grow by six percent annually if it will touch the lives of the people. You will see that by January last year, the economy was inching up, progressing. It was about, maybe 1.9 or 2 percent and it was set to grow to 3 and 4 percent that year. That was the projection in January 2020, and suddenly, in February, Covid came. By March, things got locked down. That lock down lasted till August/September. The economy did not open up till the last quarter of last year and by then the economy had gone into recession again. So, it was at a point where the Nigerian economy was like a plane ascending; you know when the plane is ascending, its nose will be in the air and it will continue to soar. Yeah! The economy was like a plane with its nose in the air when Covid came and it nosedived again. We went into recession. But you heard the news last week – after one quarter in recession, the economy has come out of that recession. It shows you that the fundamentals of the Nigerian economy are strong. Tomorrow, the Minister of Finance is going to give a further breakdown on things that contributed to our coming out of recession. You will see that oil contributed just about five percent. Non-oil products contributed the larger – agriculture, solid minerals and other things. When President Buhari came in 2015, he said he was going to diversify the Nigerian economy. We are beginning to see it. Because the recession that we came out from; oil contributed just about five percent of it. So, it shows you that diversification is here with us. Imagine during lockdown, about six months, all the world was locked down. If you had money, where will you buy anything? Not to talk of when the money is not even available. If we didn’t have locally-grown rice, Nigeria would have been in trouble. If we didn’t have locally-grown maize, beans and other kinds of grains, Nigeria would have been in trouble. But the fact that the President said go back to the land and Nigerians went back, it saved us during that lockdown. So, a lot is being done in the area of the Nigerian economy and I believe that between now and 2023, if there is no other glitch, like COVID-19, the economy will be left in a stable position by the Buhari administration.
What new things should Nigerians expect from their President?
Generally, the President is aware that the administration has just but two years and…We are in February now, by May, it will be two years left. So, we have just about two years, three months. The President is mindful of that and he wants to make those two years and three months count. I was at a meeting that he called recently. There’s what is called Presidential Infrastrusture Development Fund, PIDF. What does that fund do? It makes sure that some essential projects must be completed by 2023. Those essential projects include the rail; we didn’t talk about rail when we were talking earlier. Abuja-Kaduna has been functional now for about two/three years; Warri-Itape has been functional for over a year; Lagos-Ibadan is going to be functional, it’s being test-run and it will be commissioned officially any time from now. The flag-off for construction of Ibadan-Kano has been done and then just upper week, Kano to Maradi in Niger Republic was also done. So, you can imagine that by 2023, there will be a number of rail; rail projects all over the country. That is what the President wants to leave for the country. Not only that, bridges, roads, airports, even power. Remember the Siemens deal? It was signed just yesterday. The Siemens deal that will give us incremental power that will lead us to having 25,000MW by 2025. From 10,000 to 15,000, to 20,000, to 25,000MW. If we have that, Nigeria would be said to have started in terms of industrial development, because without electricity, there can’t be industrialisation. Obviously, President Buhari is working on it. So, he wants to leave a country that is in top shape in terms of infrastructure, that has power, that has probity, where anybody caught with his hands in the cookie jar will pay for it. So, he wants to leave the country far better than he met it.
Let’s delve into the media now. What do you miss most about the newsroom?
Well, what I’m doing now is some kind of newsroom. In the other newsroom in the media, I was the one processing news, packaging it and later as Managing Director, I was running the newspaper. Now, what I do is that I provide content for the media – different media platforms, I provide content for them. So, in a way, I’m still involved in news, but at the generation end now. Not at the processing end. I just provide content for the media and people in the media use it the way they want. But in a way, I will say I’m still involved in news. But I must tell you that I miss that other end, in which we package news, in which we make it attractive for the buyer and when you are driving round town and you see your paper being displayed and people buying it, you are very happy. I miss that.
So, where will you be headed next when the tenure of this administration ends?
By the grace of God, I always want to have one leg in the media; if not my two feet. I am on leave of absence from the last media house where I worked – The Sun newspaper. The publisher (Orji Uzor Kalu) was gracious enough to me when I told him I had been invited to serve in government, he was very happy, he wished me well and he said ‘don’t resign. Rather, apply for leave of absence’. I applied for leave of absence. But he went a step further. He gave me a letter – he said anytime you finish in government, come back and this is your position. So, I have that letter in my custody. So, May 29, 2023, by the grace of God, I may return fully to The Sun newspaper. Then, if I have something else doing, I will still have one leg in the media in one way or the other.
You are one of Nigeria’s most accomplished journalists – a former editor, a former MD, a former President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and currently the presidential spokesman. How does this make you feel?
Well, the Femi Adesina you knew as an editor, as an MD, as the president of the Guild, he’s still the same one who is special adviser to the President. One day, I was in my house eating when a visitor came. When he saw what I was eating, he said SA, Media! Why are you eating like a commoner? I said ah-ah, I am the same person. He thought my table should be filled simply because I wanted to eat. No! I think I am still the same person I used to be and I love to be that way. I just love to be simply Femi Adesina.
To have a taste of success as a journalist, what must one do?
Oh, a lot! A lot, a lot…Hard work, resourcefulness, nose for news, ability to write; it’s a combination. The fulcrum of journalism is news. You must know what news is. If you don’t know what news is, you can’t be an outstanding journalist. You must know what news is, so that once you sight it, you know that this is news and you go after it. And then, having identified news and gone after it, you must be able to present it and that is language power. Every journalist needs language power. You must be able to present your news, and to continue to present your news in a refreshing way, you must continue to improve your vocabulary. By vocabulary, I mean the stock of words you use. If you begin to use the same words day after day, you become stale. But how do you improve your stock of words? You read! You read! I’m glad that people like you are writing. So, when journalists read the things you write, they improve themselves. Another thing journalists should do is also to write – put your thoughts on paper, write your experiences, let other people read it. So, if you want to be a good journalist, you must know news, you must know how to package it, you must renew yourself as a journalist. Don’t become stale. If you become stale, you are not useful to the profession again. Renew yourself constantly. Very important.
Talking about news – what is Mr. Femi Adesina’s personal definition of news?
For me, my definition of news is something exciting, something that the people want to read about. Something that if you present to the people, they say waaoooh! It could be economy, it could be business, it could be human interest, it could be anything. But it must be something informative. News must be informative. Anything that is stale is not news. News must have a new dimension to it. It must be exciting to people irrespective of what it is. Do you know that business news can be exciting? Do you know that news about development can be exciting? Exciting news is not just about who is sleeping with who. That’s another dimension of news in itself. But news is anything that will excite those who consume it and that will inform and educate them.
To be a good writer, what must one do? Especially to write like you…
I must say thank you for that comment. To write well, you must read. Let me tell you this story – as a young reporter, I read everything available. I read, I read, I read…I read bestsellers, I read science-fiction, I read everything I could lay my hands on. Now, when I got married… The first one week, I was off work, so I was with my wife. We were in honeymoon and all that. The following week, I resumed work, I went to work, morning till night. When I came back, I ate and I took a book and I began to read it and that was our first quarrel. I noticed that she was quiet and I said ah-ah, madam, what is wrong? She said you went out since morning, you left me alone in this house, now you came back, you took a book and you began to read. But that had been my life as a bachelor. I will always read. I read everything. So, that was our first quarrel – because I was reading a book, when I should be chatting with her. A journalist must read. When you read, you improve yourself and when you write, you are fresh. There is nothing as bad as writing in a stale manner. You can’t write the same thing week after week, use the same words week after week, the same expression, week after week. So, a journalist is as good as what he reads and a writer is as good as the kind of things he reads. So, if you want to write well, read well.
As an experienced journalist, what are the qualities of a good story?
Of course, we know all the ones we were taught in school – the five serving servants – who, when, what, where, how and all that. A good story is the one that leaves no question unanswered. A good story must be well tied up. A good story must stand on two legs, a good story must be balanced. There must be accuracy in a good story. A good story is not conjecture, it’s not something you sit at home and write, it’s not cock and bull. A good story must be balanced, it must stand on two legs and it must leave no unanswered questions. If you read a story and you begin to ask yourself questions, that the story has not answered, then it’s not a balanced story. A good story must leave no questions unanswered.
What are the things that any journalist who wants to go far must flee from?
Yes, there was a time that journalists were seen as people who indulged in everything – wine, women, smoke, everything! There was an era in which journalists were like that. But now, a journalist can also be a decent person, a journalist can still be a family person, a journalist doesn’t have to be a drunk, a journalist doesn’t have to be perpetually broke, because of his lifestyle. So, the fact that you are a journalist does not mean you must be a deviant. No! A journalist can still be a decent family man, a decent person in the society, a patriot, somebody that contributes positively to his country.
What makes a good interview? When can an interview be said to have been well conducted and well done?
Thank you for this question. Now, one thing I have noticed, a trend in Nigerian journalism, is that every interview session is looking like BBC Hard Talk. That’s an error. A trend I have seen in Nigerian journalism, is for the interviewer to come at you as if you are on BBC Hard Talk. You know BBC Hard Talk is aggressive, it’s adversarial… If you come with that style, you will not get things out of the person you are interviewing. Because he’s on the defensive and he’s like a sparing partner with you, he’s trying to keep as much information away from you as possible. But if you come in a conversational style, you are chatting with him, you are asking him questions, you give him opportunity to answer…You know some people ask you questions, they don’t even give you time to answer. They keep interrupting you. So, when you want to have an interview that will elicit information, that will be worth the time you are spending, make it conversational, ask, then let the person respond. From his response, ask follow up questions. It’s not that you’ve made up your mind that I will get him, I will trap him, I will make him fall, I will deal with him. When you have that mindset before an interview, you will not get much out of the person. So, the interview that is conversational – you talk, he talks, you ask question, he responds, it’s the best way.
What makes a good paper? Having managed and edited some of the leading ones…
I think a good newspaper is just the one people want to read. There’s no point in producing the best paper in the world and you end up selling 100 copies, 200 copies. We started The Sun in 2003 January; January 17. We did weekly for six months. By July, we went daily. Do you know that at the end of that year, our first edition, we printed 40,000 copies. By the end of that year we were hitting 100,000 copies. So, a good newspaper is the one people want to read. Produce the best newspaper o, if you don’t sell it, it’s not a good newspaper…
So, what makes people want to read a newspaper? The ingredients needed to drive a good paper…
Yes! They know that they will be educated; no, the first one, they will be informed, because the reason you buy a newspaper is you want to be informed; what’s going on in the society. They want to be educated. What didn’t I know about this thing that this paper will give me? And then they want to be entertained. They will want to drop the newspaper and feel satisfied. Yes, it has met all my needs. So, if you don’t have those three ingredients in a newspaper… you don’t inform your readers, you don’t educate them, you don’t entertain them, very soon, your readers will begin to drop out one after the other and if you are not careful, they will not be there again.
What are the challenges you’ve encountered ever since you took up this position?
Myriad of challenges, but I will say the greatest is the fact that some Nigerians have become cynical. They don’t want to believe anything. There’s nothing you say, they don’t believe. They have become cynical. There’s nothing as terrible as talking to a cynical populace. They just don’t want to receive what you are saying. So, it’s a challenge for government. But I’m also glad that there are still lots and lots of people who believe the things we say. Some people just believe that before you open your mouth, you have started lying. What then do you say to such people? So, I believe the populace, the citizenry must learn to believe government. When you believe government, it’s for the good of the country.
Have you got any regret accepting to serve as the presidential spokesman?
If I was not serving President Buhari, I would have said why did I leave my job to come to government? Truly, I would have said why did I ever leave my job to come and serve in government? But because I’m serving a man I like, a man I admire, no regrets. No regrets! Everyday I stay in government is a personal sacrifice for me, but no regrets. Because I will say I left a comfort zone… Do you see the volume of abuses I get daily? I’m sure you see it. If I was in my comfort zone, will anybody come to abuse me? But I tell you, all these abuses, they don’t matter to me, because I’m serving a President I personally like, a man I have followed since he was a military Head of State, a man I believe in and personally like. I will follow him anywhere! So, that makes me not to have regrets.
What is the nicest thing about being the presidential spokesman?
For me, does it really matter? I can be anything. I can be just a writer, I can be just a reporter, I can be just an MD, I can be president of the Guild of Editors, I can be anything. So, being a presidential spokesman is not something I hankered after, it’s not something I yearned for, it’s something that came my way and it’s something I’m doing willingly and I’m enjoying doing it. But I can do without it. I can do without it!
Your family, how do they feel each time they read or see some negative things being written and said about you?
Yes, initially, it used to worry them. I remember that when I came on this assignment, my daughter then was a third year student in the university. And you know at that age, that generation, they are social media people. So, when she sees all those things about her father she gets worried. There was a day she called me, she said, ‘Daddy, all these things they are saying about you, this is not you. This is not you.’ I said okay. Do you know that it’s not me? She said yes, this is not you. I said since you know it’s not me, simply forget it. There was a time they were worried about all those things, but now they don’t worry again because they know that most of those things, on social media particularly, are not true. They are concocted, they are the imagination of some people who like to see evil about other people. So, it doesn’t worry them again.
What would you like to be remembered for at the end of your tenure as a president spokesman?
Well, that Femi Adesina came, he served his principal to the best of his ability, he loved his principal, he stood by him every bit of the way. That’s what I want to be remembered for – that I stood by my principal every bit of the way. No matter what they say about him, he remains my hero.