ACN to Abati: Please, mind your language

The opposition party accuses presidential spokesman of using crude and undignified language on Jonathan’s critics.

The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has decried the growing propensity of presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, to resort to the use of foul language against critics of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration, saying such crude verbal attacks may boomerang on the presidency, if left unchecked.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said there is a difference between a vicious verbal attack, which Mr. Abati now engages in with relish, and a robust response to critics of the administration, which is what is expected of him.

”Contrary to what Dr. Abati may think, ‘attack’ and ‘criticism’ are not synonymous. An effective presidential spokesman is not one who employs gutter language to respond to critics of his principal, or one who makes more enemies than friends for his boss, but one who is able to convey the activities and achievements of the president to the citizenry with dignified language,” the party said.

”By virtue of what is believed to be his sound education, professional training and exposure, Dr. Abati should be well placed to know how to tell a man to go to hell and the man will still be smiling!

”To be sure, the use of dignified language by a presidential spokesman is important because whatever he says is believed to have emanated from his principal.

“It is therefore unimaginable that President Goodluck Jonathan will resort to the use of the kind of language that has been spewing out of the mouth of his spokesman in recent times. To the best of our knowledge, no presidential spokesman in Nigeria’s history has employed such base language in defence of his principal.”

ACN said using such words as ‘ethically-challenged’, ‘hypocrite’, ‘medieval-era ignoramus’, ‘habitual indolence and brainlessness’, ‘descent into moral abyss’, ‘mental indolence’, ‘bootlicking’, ‘hideous and second-rate characters’, and ‘foolish’ to describe the critics of the President is rude, crude, uncouth, unconscionable and uncalled for, and that those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

The ACN said while Mr. Abati is “free to exhibit your bombastic prowess, the rarefied realm of the presidency is not the ideal place for that, because when those who are being assaulted with such words respond in kind, it debases the presidency and ultimately hurts the occupier of the office. In a truly global world, such unrestrained response to critics of the presidency also hurts not just the President but the image of the entire country.

”Even if some critics use words that Dr. Abati finds annoying and insulting or engage in criticism that he deems unfair, it is still incumbent on him to avoid responding in kind, simply because he is not speaking for himself but for an institution. It is therefore not enough defence for him to say that he is responding in kind to critics of his boss.

”May we also remind the presidential spokesman that there will be life after that office, and that he should remember that in an era where the power of the written word has assumed more potency for various reasons, it is important to be more circumspect in tongue-lashing critics of the President.

The opposition party advised and encouraged Mr. Abati “to learn to use facts and figures to counter whatever he considers an unfavourable criticism of his principal, instead of subsuming such under verbal pugilistic.”


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  • Yemi Adeyemi

    So Lai Mohammed and the ACN can complain of someone using ‘gutter’ language? They espect Abati to be praising them when they are passing insult on his Boss? It is good now that they are realising that they dont have monopoly of insultive words and ‘gutter’ language.


      This is not about ACN or Lai Mohammed but about respect for the high office of the president and national dignity. The foul language, if you must know, was used against the CPC Spokesman as well as the former EFCC Chair, not against Lai or his party. This ACN write up is right on the money, Mr. Adeyemi!

      • Dominic’s

        Adeyemi is a hungry n jobless sycophant who is looking for cheap recognition from the likes of Abati unfortunely those people are becoming wise now they don’t pay like before

        • Yemi Adeyemi

          It is a pity that you write from your imagination, for your information I can employ you as one of my workers. I am not a party-hang-on like you who will never see anything wrong in whatever your party men are doing wrong. I’m neither jobless nor looking for recognition from any man, I’m fully satisfied with what God have done for me

  • Sadiq Garba

    Why should anybody be suprised with the way Abati speaks.
    Have you not heard his boss when he was inaugurating the PSC?
    What a president?

  • ilebaami

    ACN and Lai are really a motley crew (excuse the cliché).

  • Gab Obi- Ajeh

    ACN shuld direct, Lai, Mr Ribadu, Tsav and others to first learn to respect d office of Mr President, cos the powers that be are ordained of God.