Book on Buhari: Believe Adesina on the facts, there may be other views — Laolu Akande

Laolu Akande

An veteran journalist and former presidential aide, Laolu Akande, has charged people to believe the facts and opinions expressed in a book written by his colleague in government, Femi Adesina, titled: ‘Working With Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser, Media and Publicity (2015-2023),’ even if there may be other views.

The book launched in Abuja, on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, offered inside details of the activities of former President Buhari in office, and most especially his other sides not known to the public by someone who worked closely with him as his spokesperson and head of his media team for eight years.

Akande, featuring on Sunrise Daily, the Channels TV’s news documentary programme on Thursday, January 18, affirmed that Adesina wrote about what he knew about an eyewitness irrespective of what anyone thinks about his submissions.

While Akande told his audience responding to questions about Adesina’s book on Channels TV that, “That is what he knew, witnessed, what he experienced, the life that he lived working with President Muhammadu Buhari for eight years,” he argued that, “I don’t think that you will be able to contradict the facts he put in the book. What might be possible might be other perspectives. Other things that are not in the stories. And I imagine that.”

Akande said, “Nobody can claim that they know a hundred per cent of what it is that happened. So, to that extent, I think Femi is an outstanding journalist and editor-in-chief. To the facts, I don’t think you can contradict what he has said.

ALSO READ: Buhari remains an enigma, Osinbajo says at books launch to honour former president

The veteran journalist said “It depends on the principal, from the accounts of Femi you can see very clearly that even before President Buhari became civilian president, Femi has always admired him. Even when he was a head of state. He went as saying that as for him the Buhari thing is a conviction. He had a very unique relationship with Buhari even before the man became the president.’

On Adesina’s submission, Akande noted that “The way he will do his job might be different from somebody who doesn’t have that kind of previous admiration or something close to a belief.

“Now, the other possibility is that you can have a principal who is also very hands-on. So that the spokesperson will be much closer in terms of thinking through and then you can also have certain principals who themselves are very media-savvy, you don’t really have too much to lead. They lead and you follow.”

Look at President Buhari, I can count the number of times he had press interviews you know while he was there. And certain principals will just go out and engage the press themselves, look at President Olusegun Obasanjo for instance, he had almost a weekly or a monthly interaction,” Akande said.

Continuing on the personality of Buhari and his grip on power, Akande said, “What I have found especially in the last eight years is that the personality of the principal especially whoever is number one has to be a certain kind of personality, but more than that is the will and the capacity to deliver. I will say very clearly and I think I’ve said it before, I think President Buhari between 2015 and 2019 had a better grip on things than between 2019 and 2023.

“I think he made some strategic decisions such as the decision for instance to create this humongous ministry, that is the Humanitarian Affairs, where you now put social investment and when you are going to do that, you allowed a disconnection between the folks who had done an excellent good job between 2016 and 2019. The special adviser in the presidency deployed to the office of the vice president. She had a very fantastic team,” Akande said.