By Saheed Abdullahi
The office of a Governor, no doubt, is not child’s play. For a Governor to succeed, he requires a thoroughbred journalist with Public Relations taste to be saddled with the responsibility of branding, packaging and insulation of his principal against wrong perception.
To achieve this, the Office of Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Governor always ensures that accurate information is dished out for public consumption. If such information is misinterpreted, the CPS also has a duty to correct the misinformation against his principal. Image laundering and publicity of a government is crucial to ward off misconception. This can only be achieved if round peg is put in the round whole
Here in the State of Harmony, Kwara, CPS to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, is fortunate to be appointed. Since assumption of duty in 2019, Ajakaye has displayed commitment that he is capable of doing the job. The appointments of CPS to the Governor, Chief of Staff to Governor, Aminu Adisa Logun (of blessed memory) and Secretary to the State Government, Professor Mamman Saba Jibril were the first in the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday, June 7, 2019.
The CPS to the Governor has left no stone unturned in projecting the image of the Governor through a window provided for Governor AbdulRazaq’s appointees to interface with the media, at regular interval, and in turn to inform Kwarans of their duties and responsibilities towards solving the citizens’ problems, thus serving as a bridge between Governor AbdulRazaq and the people.
It must be noted that Ajakaye simplicity and generosity disposition has earned him so much love in the media space as every journalist has unhindered access to him irrespective of media outlets. My direct interaction and assessment of him showed that he is the first CPS in Kwara State that defends the Governor devoid of tantrum or name calling. He has shown that he is truly a media personality with decency and decorum.
It is worthy of note that the writing prowess of Rafiu Ajakaye is thrilling and scintillating as his communication strategy, information literacy skills, words and lexicon combinations so far are always suitable to describe each an individual or events in the name of the Governor. I must confess that I have made it mandatory for myself to be studying his press statements and articles. There is no way I will not learn from him ranging from presentation of central idea, sentence construction and high level of vocabulary exhibition.
Surprisingly, some will think Ajakaye is not eloquent with the way he writes. But his appearance on broadcast stations is also an attestation that he is blessed with both oral and written abilities. Featuring on Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ Radio Kwara Chapel in-house Programme, “Viewpoint”, Ajakaye left no question unanswered. Even the ones we thought he could not answer or at best evade, he dealt with them without any fear.
Ajakaye is unlike some of his predecessors in Kwara, who were helpless in the system they belonged. I will describe him as a unique Publicist to the Governor as many issues attached to his office or directly related are resolved whenever the need be.
The incumbent CPS to Kwara State Governor is also a silent philanthropist whose gestures was unearthed through testimonies from the beneficiaries. I was marveled when I heard about the succour he has been offering and as well as intervention to some people including our colleagues in the media profession. I want to charge him not to rest on his service to humanity.
It is not an understatement to say that Ajakaye has not abused his exalted office in one way or the other whether to hurt or defame. He sees that office as nothing through his posture and disposition. Sincerely, you will not even know he is the CPS to the Governor as he does his job with diligence.
Ajakaye has been appointed three years ago, and I haven’t come across where somebody uttered “Ajakaye offended me” whether in the media arena or the generality of the citizens. He is truly the image-maker of the Governor. Ustaz as he is fondly called, one wonders how he has been able to marry with convenience being the Governor’s Publicist and Islamic scholar simultaneously. Mere looking at him with his simple outfit, one will easily deduce that Rafiu Ajakaye is God-fearing.
It is obscure to some people that Rafiu Ajakaye was part and parcel of the struggle that demolished the Berlin Wall of Saraki Political Dynasty under Political Mantra ‘O to ge’ with a former Governorship Aspirant in Kwara State, Mohammad Dele Belgore.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq with magnetic intelligence also discovered Ajakaye from Mohammed Dele Belgore Political Camp and appointed him as his spokesperson when he became the Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress in 2019 and later incorporated him into his Campaign Organization in 2019. It is not astonishing that Governor AbdulRazaq engaged Ajakaye as his Personal Aide on Media, having been with him for quite a while.
For the naysayers who were jolted on the decision of the Governor to pick Ajakaye, appropriate answer to them is, Ajakaye did not gatecrash Governor AbdulRazaq’s administration. He has been his close right-hand man, deploying his pen-power to launder his image and not just when he was appointed. It is obvious that Ajakaye is a contented and trusted ally of the Governor. The confidence the Governor has in him is not only tremendous but worthy of emulation.The CPS disposition to the fellow appointees of the Governor, his journalist-colleagues and the general public is highly commendable.
This renowned pen pusher cum Publicist has succeeded in promoting the image of the Governor and Government of Kwara State in all sectors as he works in unison with Press Secretaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to guard against communication gap capable of undermining the Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-ed administration
It would be recalled that Rafiu Ajakaye also served as the mouthpiece of Kwara State COVID-19 Committee chaired by the Deputy Governor of the state, Mr Kayode Alabi, which was put in place contain the spread of the dread global pandemic. During the period the virus was biting harder nationwide, the CPS also demonstrated multi-task posture of being the spokesperson of the Governor and the State COVID-19 Committee simultaneously. I will describe him as smart Governor’s image-maker ready for any exigency when duty calls.
He has really shown us that he is versatile in the management of information within and around his principal, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq through meticulous and painstaking approach in dishing out relevant information to the citizens of the state.