The Presidency said there will be nothing derogating about addressing President Muhammadu Buhari by his military rank of Major General.
A national newspaper had on Wednesday said it will henceforth prefix the President with the military rank, citing recent developments, which it reckoned have been reminiscent of the military style of the 1980s, as its reason.
However, reacting to the decision of the newspaper in a statement on Wednesday, the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the decision of the newspaper would not jolt the Presidency.
According to Adesina, Buhari did not just stumble on or gifted the rank while in the Nigerian Army’s service, but worked hard and long to merit and acquire it, adding that having served as a military officer did not preclude him from becoming a democrat, just as it does not mean those who never had military service experience better democrats than those who did.
“A newspaper says it will henceforth address President Muhammadu Buhari by his military rank of Major General.
“Nothing untoward in it. It is a rank the President attained by dint of hard work before he retired from the Nigerian Army. And today, constitutionally, he is also Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
“All over the world, just as in our country, a large number of retired military officers are now democrats. It does not make those who did not pass through military service better than them.
“Rather than being pejorative, addressing President Buhari by his military rank is another testimony to free speech and freedom of the press, which this administration (or regime, if anyone prefers: it is a matter of semantics) has pledged to uphold and preserve”, the statement.