Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, says President Muhammadu Buhari has the overwhelming support of majority of Nigerians — notwithstanding the constant criticism from the “vocal minority who have access to social media and traditional media”.
Speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Adesina also addressed public concerns about his style of going about his job, which is perceived “arrogant” in some quarters.
He also spoke about how his daughter almost comes to tears many times when reading social-media comments about him.
“Yes, everything you do must have its own challenges, otherwise it becomes boring, routine and you’ll just tag along but I don’t. Every day, I take the challenges as they come,” he said.
“What makes me glad is that a lot of Nigerians are with this President. Don’t mind the vocal minority who have access to social media and traditional media and say all sorts of things. They are a vocal minority but the majority of Nigerians are with him, and the polls will show it. For me, it gives me a sense of fulfillment that I’m working with a man that is making a difference in Nigeria.”
On frequent public complaints about him, Adesina said: “Cocky or arrogance is not part of my makeup. I wouldn’t think so. I’m not the one that can assess or judge myself but ‘cocky or arrogance’ is not part of my makeup because I’m a Christian and a believer and arrogance is not part of a true Christian.
“But what I’ve noticed is that some people do not like people who can hold their own. When you can hold your own, they say it is arrogance. I think it is just that I can hold my own. Anything that you come with, I can always defend because I am part of the administration and I have inside knowledge.
“So, if you come with something that is not true, I can always debunk it. If anybody sees that as being arrogant or cocky I can’t help it. But ‘cocky and arrogant’ I don’t think so. I am not.
“You know the social media just revels in abusing people, and saying all sorts of rude and crude things. I remember my daughter who was in the university then and she called me and was almost crying and said, ‘all these things I read on social media about you, this is not you.’ I then told her, ‘since you know that it is not me, then let your heart be at peace knowing that it is not your daddy; it is a creation of the social media.’
“What amuses me is that when I say something, they twist it and make it negative. When I see them, I laugh because they are idle. If not, they won’t waste time in twisting what I’ve said.”