Dr. Doyin Okupe
Whoever started that joke about former Presidential Spokesman and Iperu-Remo blue-blood in Ogun State, Dr. Doyin Okupe, being hired as an attack dog of President Jonathan must be naughty indeed. Okupe came on board last week as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President. He comes to the job with a load of experience. But he certainly won’t find the joke about being an attack dog funny, no matter how he conceals it. Responding to such framing of him and his new task, Okupe had said: “Somebody said Okupe has been hired as an attack dog. If President Jonathan hires a 60-year-old man as an attack dog, then he is employing a weak attack dog.” Okupe, a medical doctor who I guess might find it difficult to handle the stethoscope again, has been involved in information management for a long while.
From the days of the unregistered Liberal Convention, to the registered National Republican Convention, and to the President Obasanjo regime as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Okupe has seen it all. But not many would envy him in this latest assignment. I for one don’t envy him. What would make his job easy, though, is for the present administration, for President Jonathan to perform. If the President does not perform, Okupe would be flat-footed, I don’t need a soothsayer to tell me no amount of subterfuge to dress the non-performance of the government would fly. As to whether or not he has come to undermine the job of the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, I don’t think so. Their roles and responsibilities, I guess, are different. We had this type of arrangement before under President Obasanjo when Mrs. Remi Oyo was Special Adviser to Baba on Media and Publicity and Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, Special Assistant on Public Affairs. And I guess it worked – or so it seemed.