‘Why Tinubu Has Not Appointed A Spokesperson’

Fresh facts emerged, yesterday, on why President Bola Tinubu has not appointed an official spokesperson, a week after assuming office. Investigation by The Guardian revealed that while the President is bent on changing the “architecture of his media” to reflect innovations he is bringing to the Presidency, some of his media aides have not agreed on the structure and job descriptions of some designations.

Under normal circumstances, the President ought to have announced his official spokesperson and Chief of Staff (CoS) immediately he was sworn in on May 29.

It was on Thursday Tinubu announced Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as CoS, while former governor of Benue State, George Akume, was appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

It was gathered that a new spokesperson is being penciled down, who will “not only be responsible to the President, but be a cabinet member that will observe Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings and also have power to actively participate in discussions and vote, if need be.”

It was gathered that, since the proposed spokesperson will be a cabinet member, his name might be part of ministerial nominees to be submitted to the 10th National Assembly, after its inauguration on June 13.

A source close to Tinubu said: “The government is coming with a lot of innovations. And the media, in the presidency, will be different from what we all knew before. That is why it is taking time to be announced.”

The source said despite the fact that the Presidency has not come out to announce a spokesperson, there is no vacuum because Dele Alake has been acting as media adviser to the President.

The source said: “Immediately after the campaign, Alake has been speaking for the President and he will continue to do so. That is why there is no controversy on how to explain government’s stand on many issues.”

Another source close to the President blamed delay in appointing a spokesperson on scheming among Tinubu’s media aides, who do not just want to have the appointment, but also want to have access to him without passing through the CoS, yet be cabinet member.

The source said: “Some of his media aides want to eat their cake and have it. They are manipulating the new architecture, to be relevant in the government, and still have direct assess to the President.

“But one will be on top, while three or four people will be working under him. I don’t want to mention names now but Nigerians know those who have been doing the work.”

Apart from Alake, who has been speaking for the President, others in Tinubu’s media team during campaigns are Bayo Onanuga, the immediate past Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, Kehinde Bamigbetan, Issa-Onilu, Modibbo Kawu and Seun Olufemi-White. But Tinubu’s personal media aide, Tunde Rahman, has been writing press statements since his principal took office.

The source also denied rumour making the rounds that Tinubu has appointed Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser (NSA), noting that Ribadu is a retired policeman.

When asked to explain why a retired policeman cannot become NSA, the source said: “I can’t speak further on it. Those who should know understand.” Meanwhile, when The Guardian reached out to Alake, on why Tinubu is yet to appoint a spokesperson, he replied: “There is no law stipulating what time the President should appoint his spokesperson…there’s even no law compelling him to appoint one.”

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