A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said that the reports were “untrue and most misleading’’.
“The Presidency views the highly sensationalised reports as a deliberate attempt to cause anxiety and disaffection amongst the top hierarchy of the Police Force through the willful misrepresentation of President Jonathan’s remarks.
“The swearing-in of the new chairman and members of the Police Service Commission at which the president spoke yesterday was directly covered by members of the State House Press Corps,’’ Abati said.
He said the thrust of the president’s remarks was that the new chairman and members of the Police Service Commission should strive to effectively discharge their statutory function of enhancing discipline and efficiency in the service.
“President Jonathan was certainly not giving fresh orders or rewriting the rules when he said: `People who are promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police and above must merit the rank. If you don’t merit the rank, you should be retired from the service.’
“As all police officers and their counterparts in the Armed Forces and security agencies know, the president’s words were fully in line with existing rules and regulations guiding career progression in the services,’’ he said.
Abati said the Administration of Jonathan had granted access to all media organisations, who wished to report on its activities and had done everything possible to facilitate the performance of their duty of correctly informing the public.
“In return, the Presidency expects a much higher standard of professionalism and accuracy than that being exhibited by sections of the media.
“Those guilty of deliberately distorting or twisting the president’s words to promote sectional agenda and fan the embers of discord in the polity should desist from doing so,’’ he said.