President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo (left); Principal Consultant, NECCI Consulting Limited, Nkechi Ali-Balogun; Chairperson, Lagos State Chapter, Comfort Obot Nwankwo; Council Member, Thelma Chika Okoh and Principal Assistant Registrar, Kayode Yeku, during the Institute’s courtesy visit to The Guardian…yesterday. PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN[/caption4Members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), yesterday, visited the Rutam House head office of The Guardian where they solicited the support of the organisation in their forthcoming summit on rebuilding the nation.
President/Chairman of NIPR Council, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, in his speech, insisted that the imperative of building a new Nigeria could not be overemphasised, even as he identified elite conspiracy and poor governance as some of the challenges confronting the nation.
“Relationship is broken. Trust is broken. The people of Nigeria are the biggest endowment but we don’t see our diversity as a blessing but a curse. We have lost focus on the big picture. We are all guilty,” he said.
Speaking on the project, Sirajo explained: “We are here to enlist the support of the organisation because of the place The Guardian occupies in the Nigerian media industry. The project is citizen-driven. There is a lot of suspicion going on but we want to assure the world that we are staking our integrity and credibility on it. We are looking at how we can make Nigeria better. Nobody sent us; it is our project. It is a process, not an event because fixing this country is not a day’s affair.”
He added: “We are bringing everybody on board. We want to get Nigerians busy at the table, talking sincerely about themselves. We have already inaugurated the National Planning Committee in Abuja. We have reached out to the Christian Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs so that nobody is left out.”
Responding, The Guardian Editor-in-Chief, Martins Oloja, said: “The Guardian will always support anything that expands our values and we will not misrepresent you. We will support and give it the context and content you need for people to understand. We have been made not to believe in ourselves anymore. But this is the kind of thing that we want.”
Meanwhile, expressing optimism on the success of the initiative, Principal Consultant, NECCI PR, Nkechi Ali Balogun, said the planning committee came up with strategies “to find out where we were, why we were there and where we want to be and why we want to be there.”
She noted: “We also have the Content Development Committee that will come up with the content on how to address the failures of past initiatives and make sure we don’t fall into that category. We also have Monitoring and Evaluation that will develop milestones and give us Key Performance Indicators to know if what we are doing is right. There is also the Reputation Committee because our reputation is at stake.”
Other NIPR members present are Chairman, Lagos State chapter, Comfort Obot Nwankwo; Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Digi Converge, Thelma Okoh; and Principal Assistant Registrar, Kayode Eku.