Working with Buhari swoops on Abuja

Femi Adesina, left, speaking about his book

By Femi Adesina

The train of reading and signing of the book, ‘Working with Buhari: Reflections of a Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, 2015-2023’ glided into Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

Book lovers and enthusiasts turned up at venue of the event, hosted by RovingHeights Bookstore, City Center Mall, Garki, and the audience consisted of Nigerians from different walks of life, friends, associates, and there were also at least two foreigners, a female Caucasian, and a male Chinese.

Very inspiring for me was the presence of people I had worked with in the Presidential Communications Team of the State House: Abiodun Oladunjoye, Uche Adighibe, Tolu Ogunlesi, Oche Egwa, and Rosemary Ezeugoh. It was a pleasure seeing them all again, and going down memory lane, before and after the program.

Mr Adedotun Eyinade, one of the promoters of RovingHeights Bookstore moderated the event. And what a good job he made of it.

Incidentally, it was the Lagos arm of Rovingheights that organized the very first book reading and signing in February, in collaboration with the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA). That was followed by an invitation from Uyo Book Club on April 27, 2024.

I read portions from different parts of the book, specifically Chapters 1, 2, 4, and 7. Also featured was the epilogue, which considered whether there were demons in Aso Rock or not, as alleged by my predecessor in office, Dr Reuben Abati.

The questions that followed were legion. First from Eyinade, the moderator, and then the distinguished audience. I answered all, to the best of my ability: you were reluctant to take the job, and actually cried when you left your former job. Why? Your principal was known for not being actually chummy with the Press, and even jailed some journalists in his first coming as a military ruler. How did you then cope? He was an aloof person. Was it a good disposition for a President? What advice would you give to media advisers coming after you on how best to do the job? Managing your faith as a Christian with a man known as a Muslim, whom some people even called a religious bigot? The cabal. Was there really one? What would you do differently, if you ever serve in the same capacity again? The wailing wailers. Does it mean you were intolerant of criticism? What were the low moments? Greatest challenge of leadership? And many more…

The event was to be for two hours. We clearly overshot the runway, almost lasting three. And then the signing of books.

How will I ever appreciate the throng that buys ‘Working with Buhari’ day after day. I signed, and signed, and signed…

And profound thanks to all the bookstores and marketers making the volume available in different parts of the country. The intention was to paint a portrait of the true Muhammadu Buhari, as opposed to the false narratives. And as confessed by those who have read the book, they are better enlightened. We are sure succeeding.