The Chief Media Consultant to the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA), Yushau Shuaib, has resigned his intermediary role, amidst allegations that the Jon-Odeh led presidential panel investigating arms procurement during the last administration, is criminalising the mandate and misleading the president.
In a statement on Monday, Mr. Shuaib who was engaged by a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, to serve as media consultant to military, security, intelligence and response organisations under a unified platform, had as his core mandate the responsibility of positioning the agencies for desired public perception and changing the negative narratives regarding the war against terror.
In his letter of resignation submitted to the Chairman of the Forum, the Director Defence Information (DDI) Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, Yushau Shuaib said the he was resigning from the position, which was under the auspices of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), because of the misleading report by presidential committee under the same ONSA, for unjustly accusing almost all institutions and individuals that served the office without fair hearing.
According to Shuaib, he had served the country with all the patriotism in him since 2013 when he was appointed to be the go between with all the major security and response agencies and the media in the country. “For genuine reasons and concern, our strategic team managed many humiliating and embarrassing reports from leakages, including alleged terrorists’ attacks in the hometowns of top security officers in the current administration.”
He continued, “while the Jon Ode led-Panel deliberately refuses to acknowledge successes recorded by previous administration in the war on terror, the team has only succeeded in misleading the president with its biased reports that create unnecessary anxiety in the polity.” he said.
Shuaib stated that the organisation, Image Merchants, he founded with 20 people under his employment, must have provoked the Jon-Ode led panel to indict the organisation in its recent report, because of an article he published on the security platform PR Nigeria to tell Nigerian the efforts of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to defeat the terror elements in the northeast.
“It is mere mischief for the Jon Ode-panel to indict an umbrella strategic communication outfit that was not involved in partisan politics but provided proofs of its assignment and paid the full taxes demanded by the panel only for the same panel to turn around and claimed nothing was done just few days after an article we published exposing the lies being orchestrated that no weapons were bought by the previous administration for the prosecution of war on terror.”
He queried the rationale behind empowering a Panel of Procurement of Arms that is composed of retired and serving military officers to also be saddled with probing contracts and services that have nothing to do with arms and ammunition. With such enormous powers, “the retired AVM Jon Ode-Presidential Panel under ONSA is merely criminalizing critical institutions and indicting groups and individuals in the media without being arraigned in the court of law where the accused could prove their innocence.”
While cautioning President Buhari to be weary of those he has given responsibilities to without doing a comprehensive background check on their past antecedents, life styles and experiences, Shuaib said “it is appalling the continued exposure of our judiciary to public ridicule in the sensationalised anti-corruption campaigns. In this context, it is foolhardy for anyone to now contemplate using a PR agency to rubbish media integrity as another critical stakeholder. PR people engage the media professionally and responsibly to achieve strategic objectives”