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What Femi Adeshina said concerning Punch’s decision to henceforth address Buhari as a military dictator

Femi Adeshina, the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, has reacted to an article by The Punch concerning addressing President Buhari as a military dictator.

An excerpt from the article by The Punch reads:

“As a symbolic demonstration of our protest against autocracy and military-style repression, PUNCH (all our print newspapers, The PUNCH, Saturday PUNCH, Sunday PUNCH, PUNCH Sports Extra, and digital platforms, most especially Punchng.com) will henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s, Major General, and refer to his administration as a regime, until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law”.

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Reacting to the article, Femi Adeshina wrote:

ANOTHER TESTIMONY TO PRESS FREEDOM IN NIGERIA, BY PRESIDENCY

A newspaper says it will henceforth address President Muhammadu Buhari by his military rank of Major General. 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’s also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

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 didn’t pass through military service better democrats 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’s a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve.

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Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
December 11, 2019

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