…Defends cabal in villa
…Insists social media must be regulated
By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Presidency at the weekend noted that the large number of Nigerian elites have maintained their hatred to President Muhammadu Buhari because the President has maintained his anti corruption posture as part of his election promise to Nigerians and refused to return to business as usual since he won election in 2015
According to the Presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu,, “the Nigerian elites see Buhari as a bad man because you cannot go to him and say give me oil well and he will sign papers and give you.”
Shehu, who spoke at an interactive session with journalists covering the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend in Abuja also reacted to the claims that Buhari’s administration has been hijacked by a power-hungry cabal, saying no president can operate alone without having a team of close confidants.
The Presidential Spokesman, who regretted that Nigerians have preferred to address the Presidents confidants at the villa as cabals instead of the usual kitchen cabinet they are known to be maintained that the team that are helping the President are sacrificing their time and knowledge to make the country good for all
“It’s not a sin to have a Cabal at the Presidency Shehu said; “What is the meaning of cabal? I just goggled Thesaurus and among many other definitions, what they are saying is that cabal means ‘conspire, intrigues, mystique, and occult, secret’.
“There is no government in this country that we have had that some people were not accused of being a cabal in that government and it is because every administration, every President must have a secretariat.
“Every president must have people who advise him. It is not a sin; it is not an offence to have people that you take into confidence. Elsewhere, they call it ‘Kitchen Cabinet’, but in our own country we are being derogatory and we term them the cabal so that it will tarnish their own good standing.
“A lot of them are successful people who are making extreme sacrifices to even be coming to serve government. Some of them have no need around government but because this is a country of people, so, we understand the game that is playing out and there is always a price, in any case, to pay for that kind of exposure. Even the president himself, the kind of things that are being said of him, if he did not offer himself to serve, some of those things, people would not even have the chance to say them against him. So, we will live with it, we will accept it because it goes with the territory”.
Shehu also urged Nigerians to appreciate the efforts of federal government in regulating the operation of social media in the country, insisting that it is politically motivated, adding that it is rather an attempt to protect the minority and vulnerable groups rather than concerns being raised in some quarters that the Buhari administration is bent on shrinking the media space and voices of dissent.
“Social media has become a problem for many families because rights of women and children are being abused. There is a need to protect vulnerable members of society.
“There is need to protect minorities whether tribal or religious in our own country. So, it makes sense that you as media stakeholders come around the Minister of Information and Culture and formulate the kind of regulations you want so that it is not that there is a top-bottom approach so that government will not be accused of imposing a regulatory mechanism on the media.
“I think we need to come around him and offer media-driven solutions so that at the end of it this country will have a vibrant and effective social media communication system. It is the one that does not drive children to addictions and that it also protects consumers of media content from harmful invasion either of our privacy or addiction of children to some mercy-less commercialism that are profit-driven and are taking advantage of our own exposure to mass communication systems.
“I will like to appeal that, please give serious considerations to some of these elements and see how the media in the country can work together with government to find communication solutions to purely communication problems. It is not political, the government has no reason to undermine or weaken the mass media,” he added.