Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the president, Mallam Garba Shehu has stated that there is nothing wrong with President Muhammadu Buhari, having a cabal around him.
He said this while addressing journalists in Abuja.
According to him, trusted associates are part of every government in the world, and while other nations refer to them as the kitchen cabinet they are called cabal in Nigeria.
He said, “What is the meaning of a cabal? I just Googled the Thesaurus, and among many other definitions, what they are saying is that a cabal means ‘conspire, intrigues, mystique, occult, secret.’
“There is no government in this country that we have had that some people were not accused of being a cabal in that government and it is because every administration and every president must have a secretariat.
“Every president must have people who advise him. It is not a sin, it is not an offence to have people that you take into confidence.
“Elsewhere, they call it kitchen cabinet, but in our own country, we are being derogatory and we term them cabal so that it will tarnish their own good standing.”
He defended the contributions of the many people often referred to as cabal, saying that they have made sacrifices for the government.
He said, “Some of them have no need to be around government. In fact, to some of our elite, the President is a bad man because you cannot go to him and say give me oil well and he will sign the paper and give you.
Also speaking on the need to regulate the social media, the SSA suggested that the move had no political undertones, and was necessary to maintain law and order online.
He said, “There is a need to protect vulnerable members of the society. There is a need to protect those in the minority, whether tribal or religious, in our own country. So, it makes sense that you, as media stakeholders, come around the Minister of Information and Culture and formulate the kind of regulation you want so that it is not a top-bottom approach, so that government will not be accused of imposing a regulatory mechanism on the media. The minister is saying ‘come, sit down with me and let us talk about it.’ And I was told that the day he called on members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, they walked out on him. If that report is true, I think it is very unfortunate.