In trying to verify the accuracy of the odd appointment letter I posted here yesterday, I discovered that President Buhari actually has 9, not 6, media aides, all of whom also have a retinue of personal aides.
The presidential media aides are Femi Adesina (Special Adviser, Media & Publicity); Garba Shehu (Senior Special Assistant, Media & Publicity); Tolu Ogunlesi (Special Assistant, Digital & New Media); Lauretta Onochie (Personal Assistant, Social Media); Bashir Ahmad (Personal Assistant, New media); Sha’aban Sharada (Personal Assistant, Broadcast Media); Naziru Muhammed (Personal Assistant, TV Documentary); Sunday Aghaeze (Personal Assistant, Photography); and Bayo Omoboriowo (Personal Assistant/ President’s Photographer).
In addition, the president has about 40 paid journalists, bloggers, media analysts, commentators (whose names I have but will leave out for now), working under the Buhari Media Centre (BMC) in Utako, Abuja. The BMC is a well-furnished one-storey building with expansive premises. It has security guards, clerks, and cashiers. The team members are paid a monthly allowance of between N200,000 and N250,000.
They are mandated to react to all media contents critical of the president, write favorable news items for the president, and attack/demonize/smear people critical of the president. They also work with government agencies such as the EFCC to push narratives to deflect attention from the ineptitude of the government.
They work behind the scenes and use pen names in extended articles, and pseudonyms on social media. Almost all the members of the APC Presidential Campaign Media Directorate operate from the BMC, with the exception of those with appointments. And this excludes Lai Mohammad’s well-oiled lie squad.
When a government takes propaganda and mind-management this seriously, you know it’s not ready to change. Good deeds are their own PR. It is when people determine that they don’t want to do good deeds that they resort to mindless propaganda. If only they invested and expended as much energy in managing the economy as they do in propaganda, we won’t be where we are. I have more, but I will stop here for now. By the way, that appointment letter is authentic.