The newly elected member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations Governing Council, Mr. Ohaeri Osondu has pledged to resuscitate and scale up Public Relations practice in Niger State during his tenure.
The Immediate Past Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja Chapter who was among the 17 candidates elected into the Institute’s Governing Council at the 2018 NIPR AGM/National Conference recently held in Umuahia, Abia State.
In a post-election’s statement, Mr. Ohaeri who will be coordinating public relations activities in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Niger State, expressed concern over the noticeable drawbacks in public relations in Niger State and disclosed that a road map has already been articulated towards putting Niger State on the same pedestal with other states such as Lagos, Plateau, Abia, Ogun, Anambra and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to him, there will be no justification for the FCT Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations to remain the best performing Chapter for 2017 without scaling up Public Relations activities in Niger State, which falls under the supervision of the same Council member.
Part of his strategies towards resuscitating the Power State Chapter of the Institute include robust engagement with NIPR Executive and members in the state, strategic interface with relevant stakeholders, courtesy visits, radio and television talk shows, organizing PR summits, workshops and conferences in Niger State and introduction of customized programmes such as “PR from the Cradle” which entails engagement and visit to NYSC Camps and Tertiary Institutions to showcase public relations among youth corps members and students.
The Council Member also expressed commitment of the newly elected Council under the leadership of Mallam Muktar Sirajo to vigorously pursue the eradication of quackery and other forms of illegalities in the practice of PR in Nigeria and also promised to promote full compliance of the provisions of Decree 16 of 1990 which criminalizes the practice of PR in Nigeria without certification by the Institute.
Ohaeri who is also a Fellow of the Institute, aligned with the President of the NIPR by reiterating the need for mediocrity to be eradicated in the various professional bodies in the country by ensuring that only certified individuals are allowed to be actively involved in the Legal, Medical, Engineering, Public Relations and other professional bodies in order to maintain standards as obtained in other climes.
Mr. Ohaeri who is also the Head of Operations, Keffi Unit Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration, urged Public Relations practitioners to embrace capacity building and other forms of training programmes in order to stand the test of time especially within Nigeria and beyond national frontiers.
On the need to revitalize Public Relations practice in the public and private sector, Ohaeri stated that as an agent of change, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations is committed to building and sustaining robust machinery that will positively engage its publics through responsible performance and sincerity of purpose, anchored on integrity.
He also urged Nigerian media to strive towards striking a balance in its reportage by projecting the positive sides of what happens in our country in lieu of negative report and urged for objectivity and professionalism in social media content to eradicate the culture of mistrust and suspicion that seems to drive some aspects of our national life. He assured that the Institute was prepared to partner with governments at all levels as well as non-governmental outfits, in deliberate efforts aimed at solidifying the unity of the country.
He added “ Criminality is not only peculiar to Nigeria but transcends the global circle, a state like Chicago in USA records startling statistics on crime such as gangsterism, murder, cultism, arson and other vices but you don’t see them blown up by the Western media”. He therefore urged for more stringent measures to be put in place to sanitise the social media content and concept which will expose Nigerians to more balanced and objective media reports.
“Our primary concern as PR practitioners should be on communication management which dwells on facts, figures, truth, balanced information, truth, promptness, timeliness and must be mutually beneficial and geared towards cultivating and sustaining national reputation and image” he added.
By his election into the NIPR Governing Council, Mr. Ohaeri will coordinate Public Relations activities in the Federal Capital Territory and Niger State in the next two years.