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ASO ROCK WATCH: That presidential knock on Atiku. Two other talking points



The Presidency, last week, knocked the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, for allegedly belittling the efforts of President Bola Tinubu in dealing with the current national challenges of insecurity and economic downturn.

We tracked two other stories from the seat of power, Aso Rock villa, within the week under review.

1. That presidential knock on Atiku

On January 30, the Presidency berated Abubakar for implying that Tinubu was doing next to nothing to resolve the economic, and security challenges troubling the country.

This was gleaned from a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s statement accusing President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of fiddling amidst some security and economic challenges is to say the least, reckless.
“We like to believe that Alhaji Atiku is still not nursing hangover of his electoral defeat and now latches on any issue to attack President Tinubu,”, the statement reads.

The knock on Atiku is typical of the role assigned to teams assembled to manage the president’s reputation at all times. It is no surprise, therefore, that Onanuga came hitting hard at Atiku.

While the spokesman may be seen to be delivering on his assignments, a larger concern for Nigerians is that oftentimes the issue at stake gets buried in the game of politics.

While Atiku’s position on Tinubu’s performance may align with the thoughts, and feelings of most Nigerians, it, indeed, serves to keep the administration on its toes.

Two other talking points

2. Will the media downplay security reports in Nigeria?

The Presidency, on January 31, appealed to the media to show restraint in its reporting of kidnapping, communal clashes, and terrorism acts in order not to give the impression that all Nigerians can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed.

READ ALSO:ASO ROCK WATCH: On Tinubu’s promise to Niger Delta. Two other talking points

Presidential spokesman, Onanuga, dished this in a statement in Abuja.
“To sell our newspapers or clickbait, we tend to exaggerate and embellish, sometimes forgetting the social responsibility of the media, not to give the impression that our country is under siege by criminals or that every nook and cranny of our country is under their stranglehold,” the statement reads in part.

The appeal may be indicative of a government under pressure to defend its performance in the area of delivering on its primary responsibility of ensuring security of lives in the country.

The statement, therefore, demonstrates the eagerness of the Presidency to shore up its image and halt the negative reportage which is fast robbing the country of its socio-economic capital.

Incidentally, the move may have done the opposite of projecting the government as one intent on containing the independence of the media in news dissemination.

3. Dealing with the killing, kidnapping in Ekiti

On January 30, Tinubu outrightly condemned the brutal killing of two traditional rulers in Ekiti State, vowing to bring the perpetrators to book.

This was contained in a statement titled: ‘President Tinubu condemns killing of traditional rulers in Ekiti, directs immediate rescue of kidnapped pupils.’ issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale
“President Tinubu condemns this mindless and brutal bloodletting, and pledges that the perpetrators will not escape justice,” Tinubu said.
“The cold-blooded murder of these respected leaders cannot be tolerated, and I assure the people of Ekiti and Nigerians at large that those responsible will be brought to book.”

The trademark condemnation is a sad reminder of the deteriorating security situation, and government’s seeming helplessness in the face of several odds.

His promise to bring succour to citizens may hold little hope though, as open data continue to show that successive administrations had spoken more and acted less.

Will President Tinubu turn the tables? The earlier he takes the bull by the horn, the better for his administration, and those living in the most troubled parts of the country.

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