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Worried Over Public Perception, Buhari Hosting Nigerian Newspaper Editors To Control Narratives

President Muhammadu Buhari has invited to the presidential villa on Friday morning the editors of all Nigerian newspapers, reportedly for a security briefing.

In an unusual development, the invitations, which were signed by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina, were sent to the editors of all newspaper titles, magazines and periodicals, as well as their managing directors and editors-in-chief. In the past, presidential aides invited to such meetings only the editors of the daily newspapers.

A source told SaharaReporters that the guests are expected to receive “a package,” which is expected to be financial, after the meeting. Already, some of the journalists, especially in those organizations that are owing salaries, are said to be excited about such a prospect.

“As long as the journalists understand that any gift they accept is a bribe, it is not a problem”, a columnist for one of the newspapers said on Wednesday. “And hopefully, the government understands that the concept of “media” is now a slippery one, as anyone with a phone or a computer is now a reporter and an opinion leader. Only the right policies, dutifully implemented, can sway public opinion.”

But President Buhari’s Media aide, Garba Shehu says the meeting is a security briefing .

Garba’s statement reads, “The upcoming meeting at 2pm on Fri. 9th with editors was called by the Media Office of the Presidency to offer the media a confidential off-the-record briefing by the intelligence community on matters of the economy and security.”

He added, the letter of invitation did not say anything about transportation and accommodation because none has been arranged.

“Tea and coffee will however be served at the meeting, to last no more than two hours.”

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