By Precious Oham

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has disclosed that Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Bola Tinubu, is eminently qualified for the role of presidential spokesperson.

In a statement by the NUJ Assistant National Secretary, Akorede Opevemi, described the reports in the news and social media that the Spokesperson of President Tinubu is not qualified for the job as “assault on free speech.”

The union condemned the situation where journalists, who are its members are ridiculed for being appointed spokespersons for state governments or the presidency.

The statement read: “Our attention has beer drawn to various statements on Social Media Platforms and in the news that the Spokesperson of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ajuri Ngelale is not qualified for the job.

“The reports claim that the Presidential Spokesperson goofed in his recent official statements which to some is due to lack of qualification, despite the fact that Ajuri’s journalism competence and professionalism are not in doubt.

“We hasten to add that any law, if any, that is established to curtail or regulate free speech is not justiciable in a democracy. It should be considered as archaic jurisprudence and therefore ignored and discarded.
It is not tenable in a democracy for any law to seek to determine the qualifications or otherwise of Spokespersons of Political Parties, Government Establishments or Private Companies.

“We condemn a situation where Journalists who are members of the NUJ are ridiculed for being appointed Spokespersons of State Governments or the Presidency. Journalists are eminently qualified to speak for their Principals, and should be allowed to do their work without unnecessary distractions.

“For the sake of emphasis, Ajuri Ngelale is eminently qualified to speak for his Principal and that applies to other Spokespersons at the Federal and State Levels.”