Feel free to address Buhari by his military rank, after all he earned it, Adesina replies Punch Newspapers


The Special Adviser to president on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has said that addressing President Muhammadu Buhari by his military rank is a testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which his administration has pledged to uphold and preserve.

Mr. Adesina was responding to a Punch Newspapers editorial, today, tilted: "Buhari's lawlessness: Our Stand," where the newspaper took a hard decision on the Buhari government, especially as it pertains to its response on the rule of law.

The newspaper organisation had in the said editorial, summarily declared, that "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.”

Below is text of the statement issued by Mr. Adesina while reacting to the Punch newspapers' position:

"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," Adesina said

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