I Know What I’m Doing, Buhari Tells Critic, Dele Momodu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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I Know What I’m Doing, Buhari Tells Critic, Dele Momodu

Posted: Jul 15, 2015 at 8:13 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Abuja


Prominent magazine publisher and former presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu, was at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday for talks with President Muhammadu Buhari, and explained his recent outburst against the President’s style of governance.

A strong supporter of Buhari during the presidential campaigns, Momodu recently wrote a widely publicized, scathing criticism of the President’s actions and inaction since assuming office.

Emerging from the meeting with the President, Momodu told journalists that Buhari invited him for a chat and expressed appreciation of the roles of writers, columnists and journalists like him in society.

On his criticism of Buhari as being too slow since assuming office, the publisher of Ovation magazine said: “You know on social media, people can post anything.

“I actually wrote him a memo and one of the things I told him was that the job of a columnist is that of an adviser who is not paid.

“In fact, journalists do more work than those paid to advise the President, and that it is good to listen.

“And I know he reads voraciously and that was one of reasons he was able to invite me because I wrote what I called a desperate memo to President Buhari.

“Of course, people slanted it, some people said maybe we are no longer supporting him and all that, but if you like someone you must be able to tell him the truth at all times.

“What I have realised in so many years of interacting with people in government is that once you get to power, people stop telling you the truth, they tell you only what they think you want to hear.

“And I’m happy he said we should argue with him, tell him the truth, if things are going wrong and we should not be afraid of telling the truth.

“And for a man who has been maligned for so many years that he doesn’t like the press, it is a welcome development that he is able to reach out to members of Fourth Estate.”

The President responded that he was sure of what he was doing, said Momodu, who said Buhari encouraged him to continue to constructively argue with the powers that be and point out any wrongdoings to him.

According to Momodu: “We discussed different issues affecting our country and I gave him my own idea as a publisher, journalist, a columnist and the way forward for Nigeria.

“We spoke about security and the efforts he is making; we spoke about anti-corruption crusade and I must say, today, he reassured me that not only does he know what he is doing, he is determined to make Nigeria work.”

He said the President laughed and found his theory interesting when he called for having more women in government as part of efforts to fight corruption.

“I said women must be involved in the governance of Nigeria, and he looked at me. I said, ‘Sir, women cannot marry two husbands but a man can have four wives and 10 concubines.’ He laughed so much and almost choked.

“I said, ‘So, when you talk about corruption, the needs of women are not as big as that of men,’ and he said that was a very interesting theory.”