The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has charged members of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, as managers of public relations to arise to the responsibilities of sensitizing the government and the populace to the obligations of nation building.
Governor Wike observed that Public Relations professionals have crucial roles to play in the areas of advising and galvanizing government at national, state and local levels, and different institutions on the need to rise up to the occasion and salvage the country from the dire economic and security challenges confronting us.
The governor noted this during the 2021 State Conference/Annual meeting of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, (NIPR), Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt
The governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tammy Danagogo, said, “Sometimes I am forced to ask what the PR mangers are doing today because the security situation is far worst today than what it was years back.
“The media and PR sector was very vibrant and everyone was calling for good governance, which is good and proper.
“Today, everybody is either afraid or gone to bed but I pray that we all will wake up to our responsibilities.
“Are we supposed to be talking about reputation management or we should be talking about how the PR experts can make the government and Nigerians seat up and rise up to the challenge.”
He noted that there is no reputation to manage but rather the need to make the government and people realize that everyone needs to take actions on the challenges.
He lamented that rather than overcome the challenges of terrorism bedeviling the nation, the issues of laws to restrict the media from reporting cases of terrorism is now on focus.
“As PR and media managers, you have crucial roles to play in terms of national development. I strongly recommend that all hands must be on deck, especially reputation managers such as members of the NIPR to call on the government and all stakeholders to begin to act in ways that will help revive the battered image, security, and economy of our dear nation.
“Here in Rivers State, our government will continue to support security agencies to ensure a safe and secured environment for the economic prosperity of all. We have set up the Rivers State Neighborhood watch, Operation Sting and revived the C4i, in an effort to provide security, stimulate growth, development and prosperity of all”, he said.
He noted that the new administration has also triggered a deliberate infrastructural development and urban renewal effort to attract local and foreign investment to stimulate the economy of the state.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, who is also the state Chairman of NIPR, Paulinus Nsirim, said the relationship between the Rivers State government and the state chapter of NIPR has blossomed during the Governor Nyesom Wike’s administration.
The Commissioner noted that Governor Wike, as a visionary leader, has changed the landscape of the state and touched the life of the ordinary man.
“We are proud of being associated with the NEW administration and the giant strides he has recorded and will continue to record until 2023.
“As a chapter that is responsive to the development of Nigeria, we have chosen the theme: Nigeria Security Situation, A Factor in Reputation and National Development, as our way of contributing to the national discuss. We want to begin to set agenda and mold public opinion. We are excited that as a chapter, we use our annual conference to begin to show a road map for the security situation in Nigeria and national development.
The National President of NIPR, Mallam Muktar Sirajo, further noted that the issues of security needed the attention of all Nigerians, adding that the issue of national interest is dear to all.
“You can agree that there was a country we all enjoyed living in without fear and looked at one another as brothers and sisters and without asking questions. You will agree with me the situation is no longer the same. As an institute that regulate the practice of public relations and at the core of its mandate is relationship building, we feel that it is a duty incumbent on us to build our bridges.
“It is unfortunate that we have come to this path… but we believe that the basis of coming together cannot be served if there is no communication between the component parts to fix the country.”