Why i accepted the title of Nwanne Di Na Mba of Mmaku Kingdom, Enugu
Chief Femi Adesina, Special Adviser To President Buhari on Media And Publicity
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, is a naturally shy and reserved person. As a devoted Christian and Deacon in the Four Square Church, he is not the type to crave traditional or other titles.
On January 2, 2018, however, he was at the palace of His Royal Highness, Igwe Cyprian Nevobasi, Igwe Omeluenyi 1 of Agunnese, Ezeani 111 of Nmaku Kingdom, to accept the title offered him about a month ago, when the Igwe personally travelled to Abuja to propose to him the title of “Nwanne Di Na Mba”, literarily meaning “a brother from another land.”
Adesina and his wife were accompanied by Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to the venue where the title was bestowed on him. Ugwuanyi is also from Mmaku Kingdom in Enugu State.
After the conferment of the title, The Palace Watch got in touch with Chief Femi Adesina and the following discussion ensued:
Palace Watch: What does this title mean to you?
Two things. One, the title came from outside my ethnic stock, which shows that Nigeria is indivisible; it will always remain one country. A monarch from outside my own area of birth left Enugu for Abuja to personally give me a letter of nomination for this title. This is good tiding for Nigeria. The second is that the title given to me was not solicited. I had never met this Igwe until he came to Abuja to give me the letter nominating me for the title. This shows that there are some people who will always recognise what we are doing.
The Igwe told me how they came about my nomination for the title. He said: “The traditional cabinet members met, and they were considering who they could give a title to mark the Igwe’s 14th anniversary on the throne and his first Ofala festival, and my name popped up and they all agreed. They all said, ‘yes that man that speaks for the president. He is serving the president conscientiously and he is working well for our country. Let us honour him.”
So, those two reasons are very important to me and they contributed to my accepting the title.
Palace Watch: The job of a media spokesperson to the President is most times not appreciated, but you have been honoured in the course of doing your job as a media adviser to Mr. President. Will this title spur you on to do more for the Buhari administration?
Oh yes. With or without a title, I will always do my very best for the Buhari administration. I came to serve President Muhammadu Buhari out of conviction. It wasn’t that I needed a job as at the time I was appointed. As you are very much aware as my brother in the journalism profession, I had a job. I was at the top of my career. I was already an Editor-in-Chief. I was also the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors. So, I was comfortable and I was not desperately looking for a job.
But out of conviction, I made up my mind and left those positions to serve the president because I believe in him and I still believe in him. So I will always serve him and give him my very best. This title can only spur me to do more.
Palace Watch: For over two years now, you have been in government. How has the journey been so far?
I will say mixed blessings. A lot of Nigerians appreciate what one is doing. I move around and meet people daily who say: “Oh Femi, you are doing very well. Of course, there are the people I call the wailing wailers. They never see anything good in what we do. They will always twist what one says, and want to criticise and all that. So, it is a mixed bag, but for me, the positive far outweighs the negative.
Palace Watch: The President Buhari you work with, what would you say is his mindset like regarding the country’s economy and infrastructural developments alongside other social problems that seemingly won’t go away?
This is a president that just wants to give his best, no matter the situation he is faced with. He has only come to serve. This is a president who wants nothing for himself. He just wants everything for Nigeria. So, whatever he does – economy, politics, social, anything – is for the interest and good of the country. No personal interest.
Palace Watch: How is the President’s son, Yusuf doing? Hope he has improved…
I believe he has improved. You know I have been away on Christmas break. The president always encourages those of us working closely with him that are Christians to go on Christmas break. Garuba Shehu is the one person to give you the latest report in that area because I will be returning to Abuja tomorrow. I took the Christmas break, and from there I came to the East to take this title.
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