Be Patient With Buhari, Jerry Gana Tells Nigerians

He Smiles A lot

By Samuel Malik

Former minister of information and stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Jerry Gana, has counseled Nigerians to be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari and allow him time to settle down to the business of governance.

Gana posited that it is important to for Nigerians to be patient with the President, whom many have described as slow in running the government.

Gana made the remark as the guest speaker at the public presentations of two books, Issues in the Mobilization of Public Support for Military Operation In Nigeria and The Voice and Battles of the Nigerian Military, authored by Chris Olukolade, a Major General and defense spokesman.

The book launch took place at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Centre, Abuja, and had prominent Nigerians in attendance, with former army chief, Abdulrahman Danbazau, representing former head of state, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who was chairman of the occasion.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, and the permanent secretary, ministry of defence, Aliyu Numan, were in attendance while the army, airforce and naval chiefs were all represented.

About the government, Gana declared: “Let him study the situation, let him choose his priorities. Allow him to govern. He has four years, but people want to criticise every move.”

Rather than focusing on individuals, he said attention should be on building institutions that can outlive individuals.

“(We must) build institutions that will sustain the process of development (and) translate democracy into development so that the people can see that there is progress in their lives in such a way you have peace in the nation because everyone has a reason to defend the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he explained

Speaking on the author of the books, the former minister described Olukolalde as a strategist and someone “who will analyse situations and come out with a strategy”, a key component needed to win wars.

Gana praised the Nigerian military as one of the best in Africa, something he said Nigerians should be proud about.

According to him, it is important for a spokesperson, especially one speaking for a government institution, to be careful how he/she communicates with the public, particularly given the security challenges facing the country, a task he said Olukolade, who is also chairman of Forum of Spokespersons on Security and Response Agencies, FOSSRA, has done with aplomb.

“This man, the good Lord has always given him the wisdom to know what to say, when to say, how to say, where to say,” the former information minister stated.

For Danbazau, Olukolade made an unenviable task seem so easy that he was able to garner public support for the military in its war against insurgency.

“To be able to conduct successful operation, you need the support of the public. So, you have to have somebody who will be able to explain to the public what you are doing and why you are doing it, and I believe that General Chris Olukolade has played that role very well,” he observed.

    For Olukolade, who was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, and attended the famous Nigerian Military School, there is no career as fulfilling as the military.

    “Give me the Nigerian military or give me nothing else,” he said more than once. For him, the joy of being a soldier was felt a very long time ago and since then, there has been no change in the feeling.

    “From my teen, I’ve always felt happy when I wear the beige clothe. For example, at 12 it was as if I was walking on the moon when I wore the Nigerian army uniform in its khaki form. That rough green fabric gave me awesome inspiration, hence, I looked forward to a career in the Nigerian military,” he told the audience, adding that the books were a product of his determination to correct the misrepresentation of information about the Nigerian military and eliminate the distrust that exists between the military and the public.

    “Our aim was to promote accuracy in reporting the military but also to inculcate patriotic favour in those who will observe, report or edit military affairs,” he observed.

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