Reuben Abati, spokesman of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday expressed surprise that people still expected him to sound like a “panelist on Patito’s gang or a columnist” when he joined government.
Alongside Pat Utomi, a notable economist, Abati who also chaired the editorial board of Guardian, anchored Patito’s Gang, a television talk show that focused on societal issues.
Commenting on his role in government, Abati said the job of a spokesman is very sensitive and requires wisdom.
He was speaking during a lecture entitled: ‘Media and Economic Renaissance: Media as a tool for economic diversification’.
“Once you are in government, you are no more a journalist. It’s just like a royal court; the king does not go out, he sends someone to deliver his message to the people,” he said.
“The job of a government’s spokesman is very delicate and sensitive. A careless spokesperson can blow up a country but my colleagues still wanted me to talk as Abati, the columnist or Abati as a panelist in Patitos Gang.
“Loquacity is not an asset when you are a government’s spokesman. It is not everything that a hunter sees in the bush that he talks about.”
Abati also challenged journalists to always make public office holders accountable to the people.
This is the second time he would be making a public comment since leaving government in May.
In July, he wrote a piece entitled: ‘The Phones No longer Ring’, detailing his experience as the mouthpiece of the government between 2011 and 2015.