Posted by Transport & Business Express | 21 August 2012 | 3,589 times
Further indications that the days of Dr. Reuben Abati as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan are numbered have emerged following the creation of the office of Senior Special Assistant on Civil Society and International Media by Mr. President.
Already, Ken Wiwa, Jr., son of famed writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged by late dictator Sani Abacha in November 1995 after a sham trial, has been shortlisted to occupy the position, according to a SaharaReporters story.
This vindicates Transport & Business Express, which on August 6 exclusively reported that President Jonathan was set to appoint yet another Special Adviser on Media shortly after hiring Dr. Doyin Okupe as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President on July 27 with a brief that largely clashed with Abati’s.
In a story entitled “More trouble for Abati as Jonathan moves to appoint yet another SSA Media”, Transport & Business Express had quoted a competent source close to Aso Rock, the Nigerian seat of power, as disclosing that “President Goodluck Jonathan may soon appoint yet Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, thus making Abati more irrelevant.”
According to that story, “The new SSA will handle the international media while Abati will be restricted to dealing with the local media.”
With Okupe calling the shots locally and Ken Wiwa, who presently works under Abati, handling the international media, Abati would effectively become redundant. It is however not clear if he would muster the courage to resign before being shown the door.
Abati was a respected columnist and Editorial Board Chairman of The Guardian before his appointment as Presidential Spokesman but fell out of favour too soon for allegedly not being aggressive enough in defending his boss and his flamboyant wife. Ironically, Abati has lost his reputation as a firebrand columnist, thus compounding his situation.
*Photo: Ken Wiwa
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