[The Presidential Blog] What Femi Adesina learnt while working for MKO Abiola

Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s special adviser on media and publicity has lived long years in the media industry.

He has written for Vanguard Newspapers, The Sun Newspaper, and Concord Newspapers, the news outlet of Concord Press, one of Chief MKO Abiola’s many business ventures in Nigeria. Femi Adesina has also served as the president of Nigerian Guild of Editors, a role which he stepped back from before accepting his current government position.

In the literary world, Femi Adesina has lived quite the prosperous life so far. But that wealth of experience does not quite it you in the face when you look at him and this is probably because of a lesson he says he learnt while editing for Concord Newspapers. A lesson in humility.

Femi Adesina has shared this lesson elsewhere while juxtaposing more current happenings with some of the events that occurred at the Paper the day that General Sani Abacha, MKO Abiola’s imprisoner, died in June 1998.

“It was June 8 1998”, Mr Adesina wrote, “and death had just laid its icy hands on the maximum ruler [Abacha]”. Mr Dele Alake was the Newspaper’s editor but he had “travelled on that fateful day” so as “deputy editor”, Mr Adesina had to ” produce the newspaper”.

And while it was within National Concord’s rights that day to “gloat” over the death of the man who had held its owner captive for four years, Dr Doyin Abiola, wife of Chief MKO and “Managing Editor/Editor-in-Chief” of the paper insisted and made sure he understood that there was to be “no gloating”.

According to her, Mr Adesina continued: “we have every reason to rejoice that Abacha is dead, but no gloating. Just present the news as professionally as possible. Don’t gloat!”

And as those words of caution continued to “ring in his ears” that day, they have also carried through the years, Mr Adesina said in relation to President Muhammadu Buhari’s first medical travel.  He kept the lesson with all through the years and now, he says “never forgot, and will never forget that lesson”.


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