The Presidency has brushed aside the decision of Punch newspapers to henceforth refer to President Muhammadu Buhari, with his military rank of Major-General.
According to President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, there is no big deal about the decision and rather, it further reinforces the existence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the country.
“Nothing untoward in it. It is a rank the President attained by dint of hard work before he retired from the Nigerian Army. And today, constitutionally, he is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces”, he said.
“All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them.
“Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve”.
PUNCH announced its decision today in a strong editorial, in which it deplored the administration’s human rights abuses, invasion of the court of law by DSS goons, in order to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Saharareporters and convener of #RevolutionNow movement