November 10, 2017

PMB’s Garba Shehu: A spokesman for difficult times – Kabiru Muhammad Gwangwazo

Garba Shehu

THE Nigerian Voice has in an article called on GMB to sack six appointees charged with a number of failings.

Of those charged is Garba Shehu, Buhari’s SSA, Media. The Voice puts him in the same boat as Okoi Obno-Obla, SSA Prosecution, the peg for the article. Obla and Garba had defended the scandalous posting of Abdulrashid Maina, hastily promoted and posted to General Dambazau’s Interior Ministry. He was dismissed from service in 2013.

Garba Shehu

Okoi Obla speaking on Channels TV, had said Maina “had not yet been found guilty of any offense, he did not see why some people are outraged”. Thankfully, PMB did not listen to Obla. Due to public outrage he ordered Maina’s immediate sack and charge.

And Obla is Prosecution Adviser to PMB. As the Presidency wakes up to its core responsibility of providing leadership, Okoi Obla has been banned from uncleared comments. And that is good. After all taking a hundred wrong decisions is a lot better than not taking a decision on any matter. Governance is about action. Not just talk.

Others blackballed include DSS boss Lawal Daura for complicity and/or laxity on the Maina case. Ministers Malami and Dambazau were also black booked. Expectedly CoS Abba Kyari with the “baddest guy” tag of the Government was also mentioned though not tagged for the sack, that most feel he sorely deserves.

It was somewhat suspicious that apart from Obla all others are Northerners in the Government. That is not to say if they deserve it they shouldn’t be so rated, simply on account of where they come from. But things are so skewed nowadays you can’t fail to notice such things.

Fact is, for professional competence as a spokesman in times of crises our good friend and professional colleague Garba can’t be faulted. That he is the focus of opponents of GMB supports this. For about a decade, from 1986 when Garba joined us at The Triumph, he was everything a reporter could be, after a solid BA at BUK. His MA was from UNN. He was twice President of NGE, long before Femi Adesina — his colleague, SA to PMB.

Garba, as writer and columnist doesn’t mind saying his mind. He was catapulted to fame not as NGE President or editor but as spokesman of embattled Atiku in a time of crises. He sharpened public awareness of his boss as victim in an unfair Obasanjo Presidency.

On his sack by Obasanjo, he continued the role with more gusto and passion. That is his role in the Buhari campaign after his boss, Atiku, losing to GMB at the APC Lagos Convention literally handed him over to the GMB. That crises management of his new principal has somehow offered itself again from 2015.

With the perpetual battles of the GMB Presidency and its many self-inflicted wounds Garba was always on hand to do his job.

Before the Maina crises he had spoken on many others. Maina’s doesn’t warrant a media black book entry. It should have been a Golden entry for doing what he does best, managing crises as his brief in Media Management.

Most analysts appear not to have taken due note of Garba’s role in stabilizing the Presidency on GMB’s return from the UK, after 103 days. Then he was clearly too frail to swing into action as expected. So what is to be done? Garba came to the rescue, deftly changing the discourse to Rats! This made time for GMB to settle down leaving opponents confused.

That attention was refocused on GEJ and PDP over the Maina case is neat and meet. Without that, the mismanagement of goodwill by GMB’s men makes all forget the outrageous rascality of PDP.

Don’t forget we’re still reminded of the Jewish pogrom that wasn’t as bad as PDP’s wickedness. Presumably elected by Nigerians, it perfected the art of impunity. It was celebrated by its own, as a nest of vipers. That was long before BH gave the excuse for Arms monies turned slush funds. Of course that PDPism is also in APC that Colonel Hamid authoritatively claims is an outrage that even Garba Shehu would find hard to gloss over. This is an aside, mark you!

Garba Shehu’s mention aside, I do agree with all the fact based analyses on all other appointees of GMB and many not mentioned, whose gross incompetence causes most troubles that Garba and others are left to sort out howsoever they can.

In view of all these, I recommend “the GARBA SHEHU Programme for Management of Your Principal’s Image in Times of Crises” for Media and PR Schools. And Garba should be appreciated by his boss, GMB and all who appreciate what our Change Government faces, troubles that are mostly self-inflicted.