The President and His Style – Some years ago, a colleague went to a law firm to seek the views of the head of chamber, a senior member of the Nigerian bar who holds a doctorate in law. On the visitor’s form, the journalist had asked to see ‘Mr… (name withheld)’ and sat back expecting to be called in for the interview. Instead, a few minutes later, the man he sought to see charged into the reception stating firmly, ‘There is no such person as Mr… in this chamber, I am Dr… and since you want a Mr… you can look for him elsewhere!’ So the journalist paid for his inability to properly address people.
Before you begrudge the lawyer, remember that he studied to earn his PhD and being an African, he could ignore the culture of the West and hoist the title ‘Dr.’ After all, there are many who use the title even though they got it as honorary award.
That idiosyncracy is what Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, wants to discourage with his decision to be called just by his name. He must be aware that he would have to contend with close associates who cuddle chains of titles.
So what messages is the President trying to pass across with this and some other steps or statements made so far? That is the heart of the story, The President and His Style, written by Adejuwon Soyinka, deputy general editor.
The special interview is with Bala Mohammed, minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, until May 29. A close associate of former President Goodluck Jonathan and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who speaks on his tenure in Abuja, the person and administration of Jonathan, President Buhari and PDP, Mohammed declared that his party lost to Buhari’s popularity. He spoke to Anayochukwu Agbo, general editor, and Tajudeen Suleiman, senior associate editor.
The special report is on the challenges in the oil sector and efforts at tackling them. That is what Mark Itsibor, reporter, did in Oil: Drilling Out the Mess.
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