The Presidency has reacted to the Punch Newspaper’s decision to refer President Muhammadu Buhari as General Buhari.
In an editorial titled “Buhari’s lawlessness: Our Stand”, Punch stated that it will “henceforth prefix Buhari’s name with his rank as a military dictator in the 80s ‘Major General’ and refer to his administration as a regime until they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.
Punch said its decision shows its protest against autocracy and military-style repression under Buhari’s administration.
According to President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, there is no big deal about the decision and rather, it further reinforces the existence of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in the country.
Adesina on his Twitter page@FemiAdesina added that Buhari has earned the rank ‘Major General’
“If you decide to call him Major General, he wasn’t dashed the rank, he earned it. So, you are not completely out of order.
“The fact that you can do so is even another testimony to press freedom in Nigeria.
“All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them.
“Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve”.