Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to former President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, says that he was misquoted for eight years while serving under the immediate past administration.
The ex-spokesperson who made the disclosure at a media chat organised by the Association of Veteran Journalists in Osogbo, Osun State, on Wednesday, noted that after he got acquainted with the antics of the media, he was able to outgrow it by not letting such affect his job as the presidential media aide.
Adesina stated that the “media section” purposely wanted to make him an “enemy of the public.”
“My biggest challenge during the eight years that I served with former President Muhammadu Buhari was the fact that a section of the media deliberately quoted me out of context.
“I eventually grew out of it and got used to the antics. Even while I had a television interview, it was turned upside down in the papers deliberately to make me an enemy of the public, but I outgrew it and it did not affect my duty throughout my tenure”, he said.
Meanwhile, Adesina said his principal actually felt some things the administration did, could have been done better.
He said before Buhari left office, he had a two-hour chat with him, during which he asked all manners of questions.
According to him, during the interview session, he asked his principal what his regrets were, and Buhari expressed regret that certain things should have probably been done in another way.
Though Adesina did not state Buhari’s regret, he said “There is no living human being that will not regret certain things. It is one of the questions I asked the President.
“Before we left office, I sat with him for about 2 hours and I asked him every question under the sun and when we finished, he asked what I gave to Chief of Protocol that he gave so long a time with him. There was no question I didn’t ask him. There were things he (Buhari) felt could have been done better.”
Defending some of the actions taken by the administration, Adesina said naira redesign was not totally a bad policy as it enabled the country to have reduction in crime, especially kidnapping asides curbing manipulation in the 2023 polls.
“The policy (naira redesign) brought hardship to Nigerians. I had N20,000 which I stretched for almost two weeks. There was a day I had a full house and we wanted to cook breakfast but midway, the gas finished.
“When they came to tell me that the gas has finished, I didn’t know what to do because to fill that big cylinder, I needed N40,000 but I didn’t have it. I was special adviser to the President but I didn’t have the cash. One boy living with me had to bail me out to fill that gas which I refunded.
“So, it was everybody that bore that brunt. You will recall that even during that time, there was no kidnapping. I remember some people went to kidnap an APC chairman or is it secretary in Kano. After holding him for three days and nobody was calling to ask how much they will collect because there was no cash, they just slapped him three times and told him to go.
“Even kidnappers were out of business because there was no naira and do you know that we have a cleaner election because of that policy?
“Nine serving governors couldn’t go to the Senate. They contested but lost. Have you ever seen a governor who will contest an election and will not win? But because there was no money to spread around, they couldn’t win. The policy was not bad in its entirety. There were issues with it but it was not bad in its entirety,” Adesina concluded.