It’s the first time a government official would be admitting the existence of one since First Lady Aisha Buhari began railing against its members and operations in 2016.
“What is the meaning of a cabal? I just googled the Thesaurus and among many other definitions, what they are saying is that a cabal means ‘conspire, intrigues, mystique, occult, secret,” TheCable quotes Shehu as saying during a press briefing on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
Mrs. Buhari recently called for Shehu’s sack or resignation because he allegedly takes orders from this cabal.
Mrs Aisha Buhari returns to Nigeria in October after a long holiday in the UK (NTA)
Shehu however says the presidency cabal has been given a bad name so it could be hanged.
“There is no government in this country that we have had that some people were not accused of being a cabal in that government and it is because every administration and every president must have a secretariat.
“Every president must have people who advise him. It is not a sin, it is not an offence to have people that you take into confidence.
“Elsewhere, they call it ‘kitchen cabinet,’ but in our own country, we are being derogatory and we term them cabals so that it will tarnish their own good standing.”
Shehu said many of the people who are accused of being members of the cabal are actually making sacrifices for the country.
“Some of them have no need to be around government. In fact, to some of our elite, the president is a bad man because you cannot go to him and say give me oil well and he will sign the paper and give you.
Mamman Daura (left) and President Buhari. Daura has been severally mentioned by Aisha Buhari as a member of the cabal (Daily Nigeria)
“So, we understand the game that is playing out and there is always a price, in any case, to pay for that kind of exposure. Even the kind of things that are being said of the president himself, if he did not offer himself to serve, people would not even have the chance to say them against him. So, we will live with it, we will accept it because it goes with the territory,” he said.
Regulating the social media
Shehu added that the move to regulate the social media space is a good one.
“There is a need to protect vulnerable members of the society. There is a need to protect those in the minority, whether tribal or religious, in our own country.
“So, it makes sense that you, as media stakeholders, come around the Minister of Information and Culture and formulate the kind of regulation you want so that it is not a top bottom approach, so that government will not be accused of imposing a regulatory mechanism on the media.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says there’s a need to regulate Nigeria’s social media space [Twitter]
“The minister is saying come, sit down with me and let us talk about it. And I was told that the day he called on members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, they walked out on him. If that report is true, I think it is very unfortunate,” Shehu said.
When Mrs. Buhari first called out the cabal for allegedly hijacking her husband’s presidency, the president reminded the world that she belongs in his “kitchen and the other room.”