Publish Your Post On Trend 9ja

The Class Of 2023 Media Aides -By Khaleb Ogbonna


Fuel Subsidy is Gone!”

The announcement that fuel subsidies would be removed sent shockwaves through Nigeria, igniting a frenzy among the population and leaving the nation in a state of distress. Initially intended to portray the president as a decisive and proactive leader ready to take immediate action, this move instead raised doubts about the new administration’s overall policy direction.

Sadly, the first test of the renowned Lagos media mafia’s public communication prowess, which has long supported President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s image-building efforts, ended in failure. Their missteps significantly undermined attempts to present the president as the visionary who transformed Lagos and tamed the Atlantic under control – whatever that even means.

This week’s Twitter has become a stage for various elected officials, primarily governors, who have been engaging in performative acts. From Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu, who poses for the gram, to Pastor Umo Enoh of Akwa Ibom, who issued a ‘strong directive’ on his official portrait, and Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state, who reminded us of the days of the late General Sani Abacha whose first announcement was filled with annulment and dissolution. Governor Lawal, who according to a tweet by a twitter user ‘Sarki’ with the handle @waspapping_ declared 9 trillion naira in assets, in the most outrageously comical ways.

The focus of this essay is on the pressing need for the newly elected officials of 2023 to prioritise effective public engagement. It is commendable that everyone is utilising the media, but it is crucial to approach it strategically. Comments on most public posts reveal that many people are hesitant to be swayed by mere first-day-in-office pictures. The public wants to know what their leaders are accomplishing, how it will impact them, and what contribution is expected from them.

For a president who started off on the right foot by appointing Mr. Dele Alake as Chief Spokesperson and Mr. Dada Olusegun as the administration’s digital engagement chief, it is regrettable that his team failed to grasp the intricacies of public perception at this crucial juncture. Understanding how to manage the public image of the administration should have been a priority, including the recognition that governance cannot begin with public declarations before establishing the necessary state administrative mechanisms.

While the announcement of a unified exchange rate system brought joy to the Nigerian capital market, the nation plunged into chaos with the declaration of an end to fuel subsidies. The price of fuel, Nigeria’s fourth basic need, skyrocketed, leading to increased costs across the board. Therefore, any gains made in the capital market were offset by the majority of Nigerians who were burdened by unexpected additional expenses resulting from the fuel price hike. Thus, when the president’s handlers celebrated the rise in stock prices, the pressing question remained: how many people in Nigeria actually engage in stock trading?

Mr. Dele Alake has a challenging task ahead of him: to redefine the president’s tarnished public perception, which is of utmost importance. In my opinion, he is the most refined among those who worked in the media arm of the presidential campaign council. His conduct during the campaigns displayed a level of maturity that surpassed the verbally effusive Festus Kenyamo, the emotionally inconsistent and incontinent  Femi Fani-Kayode, and the confrontational Bayo Onanuga. Chief Dele Alake’s previous experience as the commissioner for information in Lagos likely contributed to his composed approach during the campaigns.

In the modern era, where information spreads instantly, effective communication is paramount for government officials. Media aides play a crucial role in shaping public narratives, managing crises, and fostering public trust. Through various communication channels, such as press releases, social media, and public appearances, they can positively influence public perception and enhance the government’s image. The miscommunication surrounding the public pronouncement underscored the importance of having competent media handlers who can effectively articulate government policies, address public backlash, and mitigate the negative impact on the population. This incident serves as a reminder of the consequences when communication is mishandled, leading to public unrest and dissatisfaction.

Oh, isn’t it just delightful to have a flock of media aides whose primary purpose is to swarm social media and mercilessly attack anyone who dares to have a different opinion on the government’s public policies? But, hold on a second, perhaps we should consider the radical idea of establishing a coherent communications framework that goes beyond this entourage of personal assistants. How about crafting a robust network that actually takes the time to explain government policies to the common folk and, brace yourselves, even involves communicating with the people being governed to elucidate the roles they must play in guaranteeing the government’s success? 

The face of the new media landscape in 2023 and beyond is infinite, it must go beyond taking pictures of the first day in office and taking a tour of government houses, unless we want to hear Nigerians echoing the immortal words of Asari Dokubo: “Photo! No be juju be that?!”

Above all, we yearn to see Nigeria flourish. It is within the rights of those challenging the legitimacy of President Tinubu to voice their concerns, just as it is within the rights of those refuting those claims. However, it is unacceptable for those who are paid by taxpayers to provide the stability necessary for a prosperous country to beat the drums of war.

The set of media handlers of 2023 must learn to think before they make the presidency talk.

May Nigeria thrive.

Khaleb Ogbonna is a media executive who can be reached at


Post a Comment


What do you want to ask or share?

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Accept !