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Buhari’s aides may be sacked: Ahmad, Onochie, Others Risk Sacking After Twitter Ban—Presidency Source

Some of the social media assistants have been attempting to expand their portfolios and take on additional responsibilities in order to stay relevant.

Some of President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media aides may be fired, according to Presidency sources, who claim they are now jobless following the country’s ban on Twitter last Friday.

Since Twitter was prohibited and the aides believed to be idle, SaharaReporters learned that some of the top guns in the Presidency, who have an axe to grind with the hyperactive social media aides, have been quietly pressing for their dismissal.

Bashir Ahmad, who tweets as @bashirahmaad and is the President’s Personal Assistant on Digital and New Media, and Lauretta Onochie, the President’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, are among the staffers who could be fired, according to SaharaReporters.

Others are Tolu Ogunlesi, who is Special Assistant on Digital and New Media to the President.

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“Some of them will be asked to go. They are lobbying too to keep their jobs. Some top presidency chiefs believe these guys just sit on Twitter and do nothing. They only send out controversial tweets which ridicule Buhari the more. When you remove Twitter and Instagram from them, some of them are idle and useless,” a top source stated.

“Since last Friday, some of the social media aides have been trying to change their portfolios and add new responsibilities, so that they can remain relevant. They are presently idle.”

Last Friday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension of Twitter in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Segun Adeyemi, citing the “persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”.

The Minister said the Federal Government had also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.

The development comes after Twitter deleted President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet where he threatened to treat Nigerians in the South-East “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.

Buhari had in a tweet on Tuesday stated that his government would get “harder” on those hell-bent on destroying the country.

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He said those wanting to destroy his government will receive the shock of their lives as his administration will do everything possible to ensure they fail.

The president had said the sponsors and orchestrators of insecurity in the country are doing so because they want his administration to fail.

“Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand,” he had said.

SaharaReporters had also on Monday reported that a number of Buhari’s loyalists worked hard to ensure the emergence of their new micro-blogging site, Crowee, and also made sure that the administration took a firm decision to suspend social media giant, Twitter, in Nigeria.

SaharaReporters learnt that at the heart of Crowee is a former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, but he has other forces behind him, to push the agenda.

“The first group of Buhari’s loyalists were those who were bitter by last year’s October EndSARS protests which almost tore apart the Federal Government and where the mobilisers and sponsors of the protests made use of Twitter effectively to lead a massive campaign. So, they use Adamu Garba to file a suit against Twitter,” a top source had revealed to SaharaReporters.

“The second group of Buhari’s loyalists who support the emergence of Crowee and actually funded it and worked hard to ensure Twitter sank are those who are bitter by the rising campaign of the Indigenous People of Biafra on Twitter and their international web of collaborators and sponsors. They believed that by banning Twitter, there would be a deep communication gap between Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) diaspora and IPOB at home,” another source had stated.

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