EDITORIAL: Felicitations Galore — Like Femi Adesina, Like Rafiu Ajakaye

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Like the effusive presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina who daily tortures Nigerians with his unrestrained private felicitation messages from Aso Rock; the Chief Press Secretary and official spokesperson to the Kwara State governor, Rafiu Ajakaye may also have decided to dedicate the year 2021 to writing condolences and congratulatory press releases. On average of one per day, the CPS has issued four press releases, two to celebrate with the living, and another two to condole the family of the departed, in the last four days. And with the way and manner the Kwara governor’s press secretary starts the year, he may yet beat Femi Adesina’s records in the daily routine of congratulations galore.

To be sure, there is nothing wrong with celebrating with people and empathising with those who lost loved ones, but issues of personal nature, such as writing congratulatory messages, should be kept private. Like the renowned journalist and columnist, Simon Kolawole advised, the chief executive “can write directly to those celebrating” or mourning, and they will still not feel less honoured. Appointed or elected aides paid with tax payers money devoting man hour to issuing press releases on issues that are at best personal to their bosses could equate to abuse of office. And this is why the CPS must not make this congratulatory press statements a daily routine like his counterpart in Aso Rock.

Indeed, there is no need for a serving Governor or President to feel pressured into following the lead of former office holders and their media aides who have taken it as their new job to constantly issue ‘congrats’ statements. They possibly have the lattitude of time to do as they pleased, a privilege scarcely available to someone racing against time to deliver on his pledge to the people.

It is, therefore, hoped that the spokesperson of the Kwara State government would focus on regaling the public with information on those things that matter to the citizens, while sparing us the daily burden of reading “the governor felicitates” with this and that, especially considering the fact that such releases neither enrich the media space nor add value to the people the government is in place to serve.

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