Nigerians laud Channels TV, Akande on review of topical issues, INEC, others

Laolu Akande

By Gideon Maxwell

Nigerians have applauded the award-winning news medium, Channels TV and a former presidential aide, Laolu Akande, over a recent assessment of topical national issues, commending the approach employed as insightful and objective.

Recalled before Akande was named as the spokesperson for former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, he had a widely successful media career as a journalist, having risen to the position of a newspaper editor in Nigeria in the late 90s after which he engaged in many years of professional practice abroad, with coverage experience at both the United Nations and White House, where he became the first and only Nigerian journalist to ever interview a sitting US President.

Lately, Akande, a veteran newsman, who appeared on Channels TV’s public affairs programmes, Sunrise Daily and Politics Today, in his analysis of issues, had particularly commented on the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying, it lost the public trust for its failure to electronically transmit elections results according to its earlier promise.

Both the INEC and his last Friday, September 8, 2023, comment on Channels TV’s Seun Okinbaloye’s public affairs programme, Politics Today, where he also advised the government of the need for proper coordination of its policies had drawn reactions from scores of Nigerians, who applauded his objectivity and punditry on his expert review of issues without verbosity.

When asked to assess the policy direction of the Tinubu administration, Akande said, “President Tinubu has started on a good note by implementing sound policies that will undoubtedly benefit Nigeria,” but he contended that the Presidency must “organize itself effectively to ensure the successful implementation of these policies by paying close attention to ministries like humanitarian, where immediate action is necessary.”

While noting that putting together a capable and efficient cabinet is not an easy task, Akande charged that for the current hardship Nigerians are faced with, the President needed to focus on ministries that are more readily able to provide succour.

ALSO READ: Akande commends Tinubu, urges policy coordination to attain set goals

He acknowledged that the President understood the hardship as reflected in his recent national broadcast, and reasoned that there was an urgent need to immediately address and arrest the precarious situation.

“There are two things the President needs to do, my views now, to first of all understand that if there is not effective coordination of all the good things that he has spoken of, that would be the end of important things that you want to do. And two offices are important for that, the offices of the Chief of Staff and Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” Akande said.

Besides, commenting on the recent verdict of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), the former presidential aide was critical of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for its inability to electronically transmit results of the presidential and National Assembly polls as the electoral commission itself had promised.

He said this has reduced the commission’s trust level among Nigerians, premising his position on the fact that in the lead-up to the February 2023 exercise, INEC repeatedly said it would transmit polling unit results to the INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (IReV), but which did not happen during the past elections.

Nigerians across different national divides have poured torrents of praise on ChannelsTV and the accomplished journalist’s review of the burning national issues in their reactions on social media.

Dame Annah, in her reaction via @DameAnnah, thanked Channel’s TV for bringing Akande on board, saying, “Kudos to @channelstv on this one. First time a public analyst is actually being objective. I must commend Channels TV, having a former presidential aide who can speak the truth without insulting the govt of the day is a big plus to their channel. Good job!”

A responder, Balogun Ridwan commenting via @BalogunREADONE wrote, “Thank you for a job well done… your views and perspective will always be respected… big ups to you,”

Another, Uzo Dan-Macaulay, commenting via his @ProNigeria1 handle said, “It is great that Channels TV has a big gun who is a former presidential aide on its programme, Laolu Akande, doing informed analysis on contemporary national issues with sound objectivity. The crowded terrain is now becoming neutralised. Good! Kudos!”

“A brilliant one from Laolu Akande, a liberated veteran! Here, he is commending them, the APC guys should rather play this up. He has always balanced his submissions, fair is fair, Akande is not a frivolous person, not even a politician who takes sides but a seasoned journalist!”

On his own, Moh Prince, commenting via @PrinceMohFahad, said, Akande has “Always given insightful views on national politics,” while Maxwell Jones, commenting via @Maxwell76421814, lauded Akande, saying, “You made a critical point, Sir. I hope the President will do the needful.”

Also, Adelekan A. who posted his comment from his @adelekanadeoye2 handle, agreeing with Akande said, “You’re on point, the president must set his eyes on some critical ministries to improve the standard of living of Nigerians.

Below are other comments from Nigerians across social media:

@Bisuclef I think @channelstv has found a match in @akandeoj. His wealth of experience as a journalist is easily identifiable if you listen to his analysis. He’s objective, succinct, fair, & balanced. His transition from print journalist to spokesperson to TV analyst should be studied.

@Temmy_ didn’t hear anything negative about what Mr Laolu said here about the government. This is a very pure political analysis .. Very objective.

@CarolineAdjeh I must commend Channels TV. Having a former presidential aide who can speak the truth without insulting the government of the day is a big plus to their channel.

@_BigGrin_ Everybody knows Laolu Akande is not speaking the mind of Osinbajo. People are just being funny.