Nigerians took a swipe at human rights activist Kayode Ogundamisi on Saturday for questioning Laolu Akande’s freedom to express himself freely after serving as a presidential spokesperson for 8 years.
Akande, who has been analysing public issues to the admiration of many on Channels TV recently, was a journalist and columnist for many years before he joined the past presidency. He became an editor of a national newspaper in 1997, seven years after graduating from the University of Ibadan.
Many X users (formerly Twitter) slammed Ogundamisi for playing judge and jury by assigning to himself the responsibility of who can comment on the present-day government.
“You left the government less than 7 months ago, ‘Kori ko sun’ to the Number 2 man in that Presidency, and you are already jumping from Channels TV to Arise TV to tell us how bad the situation in Nigeria is. You people always have solutions after leaving the government. Pathetic,” he wrote.
He then pointedly addressed Akande in his second post: “My ‘Brother’, Laolu Akande, about time those who served in the Buhari and Osinbajo Presidency just came out and said all. These attempts to try and wash your hands off all that went wrong and claim ownership of all that went right are not honourable. Collective responsibility,” he added.
However, his posts did not go down well with some Nigerians who believed that Akande had every right to express his views on TV, particularly because he is a journalist and should be allowed to continue his profession after serving Nigeria.
Others question why it is a human rights activist who is now attempting to curtail a free citizen from exercising his freedoms lawfully as a fundamental right and as enshrined under the Constitution.
“Ogundamisi, nothing has happened to deny Laolu Akande his freedom of expression. Being an aide in a government that did its part, there is no reason to lose that fundamental right to speak. There is no point trying to deride his person. It won’t work. Look at what is being said, if you are honest,” Lakuli said in response to Ogundamisi.
In defence of free speech, writer and social media influencer Japheth Omojuwa also wrote on Friday, “If you support the president, don’t let anyone deny you your right to ask for better or criticise the president and/or his appointees. You are within your rights. Voting for the president doesn’t make you a cult member. And you certainly don’t belong to a headless mob where no one is allowed an independent opinion other than the inert anger and irrationality of the collective.”
Adelekan Al also shared his opinion on Ogundamisi’s post. “I wonder how Kayode thinks. So, as a spokesperson to the VP, do you expect Akande to change the constitution, fix power and roads, declare free education from primary to university, build hospitals, etc.? Let’s not forget that he granted interviews on TV even as an aide to PYO.
Olakunle Olatunji noted that Ogundamisi’s comments were out of envy. “You made me watch that interview, and to be honest, you, Ogundamisi, are not making any sense about this attack on him. God will help some of you, irredentist Batists that’s of the same cloth as many of the obidient you crucify.
For MohPrince, educating Ogundamisi was more pertinent. “Are advisers among the decision-makers in an administration? You know how it works. You were once an assistant between 2015 and 2019 before you were laid off.
Hayden Jones noted that Akande has every right to speak his mind without fear. “I think Akande has every right as a journalist to be on TV and say what he’s saying. Kayode, you have stayed so long in servitude that you cannot question the master or point out errors. Your warped thinking has now evolved into envy. No one appointed you, and it hurts.”