Prince Kassim Afegbua, a former Commissioner for Information in Edo state on Friday came down hard on a journalist with ARISE TV, Oseni Rufai over what he described as his alleged attacks on the presidential aspiration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
In a statement, Afegbua who heaped praises on Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for a beautiful delivery at Chatham House said Rufai’s utterances show he has misplaced anger and sentiments towards Tinubu’s presidential bid.
He wrote” For some time now, Oseni Rufai has been running down Tinubu’s aspiration. He breathes his sentiments into every discourse, pours his hurling on the meal and flaunts his arrogance, with a straight face; as if to say, go to hell.
“I have taken pains to understudy some of his utterances and perspectives and find them very peripheral and without depth. He appears to be a man who is quarelsome and disorganised, or likely to have some domestic issues, causing him to come on air everyday, to pour out misplaced anger. Trying to mimic Reuben Abati in terms of profound delivery, he exposes his sentiments against the Tinubu presidency as he usually caresses his TV guests that are supporting other presidential candidates”.
“Rufai should note, and very clearly too, that Arise TV is not the same as the Radio station where he initially worked; it is a global platform that should convey serious contents, and not a place where “I will call the Governor” attitude should fly. That incident alone exposed Rufai’s psychological and likely psychiatric problems and that is something to be concerned about”.
“Having committed a traffic offense, he was grandstanding as he was intercepted by the authorities. He tried to show LASTMA officials and the world that he knows the Lagos State Governor and was threatening to call him for his hoped “short-cut”. This is the mentality, and indeed the sad reality that has detained us in Nigeria for years; sadly, such a mind is allowed to airtime as a journalist”.
“One of the reasons Nigerians should vote for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is that he is poised to quash this kind of mindset among us. If Reuben Abati has not succeeded in reining Rufai in, to follow the real dictates of professional broadcast journalism, a more intense approach needs to be sought. Maybe Rufai is easily swayed by his “ngwo-ngwo” emotions, or is a man who had some kind of retardation growing up. Either way, he would need treatment. Does he remember that in 1999, Chief Obasanjo got several, undilluted media harassments, and still became the elected President?”
“By Tinubu asking some of his team members from his brilliant stock to respond to some of the questions does not amount to any faus pax or gaffe. I am yet to see anyone who can school me on the strategic choices that any candidate can make. A President’s primary take home lesson is to be jack of all trade, master of all; delegating responsibilities and coordinating and collating outcomes”.
” Why would it be of utmost importance to have such brilliant men and women as Tinubu has around him if they couldn’t answer for him when asked questions? He listens to a coterie of appointees, weighs their contributions and takes responsibility and or credit for the success or otherwise of any actions taken on the issue(s) under scrutiny”.
” Having listened to Asiwaju Tinubu in Lagos when he spoke elaborately with members of the Organised Private Sector, in Kano, Owerri, Minna and Lafia, during his Townhall engagements, it will be foolhardy for anyone to think Tinubu cannot interrogate issues and speak to them. His style in Chatham House was what he chose for that outing. Did he not appear on BBC Focus on Africa alone? Did he not perform stellarly? His responses to question were lucid, unambiguous and well articulated, and his poise was statesmanly; he was simply scintillating.
“He exhibited a remarkable departure from others; others like a unifier who cannot unify his own party. Tinubu subsequently had a robust engagement with some Nigerians in London; and then, he responded to their enquiries by himself.
I would have queried his style, if those who were chosen to respond to some of the questions didn’t discharge that responsibility well. They all spoke very well, articulated the roadmap, and brought clarity to how Tinubu will shape the challenges facing our country”.
“The Chatham House engagement was open; hence the Oseni Rufais of this world cannot say Tinubu went on a medical tourism; the most convenient thing to say, in their bid to continue to ram it down our throats that Tinubu is this, Tinubu is that and everything negative. The only reason why Tinubu is lambasted today, is simply because he is the candidate to beat. So, those hirelings who may have been given backroom assignment will always look for flimsy opportunities to justify their pay”.
”We live in Nigeria and are familiar with such undercurrents. I just hope Oseni Rufai and his likes will not plunge Arise TV into an avoidable cul-de-sac in the nearest future. Once the perception sets in as a platform of anything goes, it will certainly rub off on its credibility. For me, it was most heartening to see Asiwaju Tinubu deliver his speech in Chatham House on Monday, 5 December 2022. Let other candidates go there and showcase their own style if they so desire