What happened to him is one of the disadvantages of working for politicians.
In 2015, I rejected an offer to serve a governor again, not because I had anything against him but to return to newsroom and improve my experience as a journalist. Outside government, I experienced real freedom, writing whatever I feel strongly about.
I learned some lessons while in government between 2011 and 2015.
Lesson 1: Do not be chauvinistic about your political views. All politicians are the same. Do not make your principal’s enemy your enemy. Do not be fanatical but moderately loyal supporter. When they abruptly defect to where the currents flow or against the tide, you’ll have no option than to shamelessly join them onboard.
Lesson 2: Loyalty is no guarantee that you’ll earn rewards, contacts or political posts. Very few politicians give contracts to their aides. They have this belief that they’re doing favour to you serving them!
Lesson 3: Nobody, I repeat nobody (including members of the politician’s family) is indispensable before a politician’s eye. He can sacrifice anybody to shore up his public rating or attain a political goal. Politicians use and dump appointees, make them scapegoats to manage crisis; scarecrows to ward off opposition; attack dogs to harass opponents; cannon fodders to gain advantages or sacrificial lambs to make political sacrifice.
Lesson 4: As a media aide, you can’t express your opinion, especially against political allies of your principal. People see your option as that of your principal, or having his stamp. Five years after leaving government to establish a private media business, some people still believe whatever I write, a certain politician that I spend years without seeing or calling is behind it.
Jaafar Jaafar is the Editor -In-Chief Daily Nigerian.