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.
Our correspondent was told that the presidency will cover the travel, accommodation and feeding expenses of the invitees.
Despite security being given as the reason for the unprecedented meeting, it is widely-known that the Presidency is deeply troubled about the negative reports about the government in the past few weeks on account of the economic hardship in the country.
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.”