Do Or Die Politics Plaguing Nigeria -Wike …As PR Experts Seek Change In Political Culture

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry-Banigo (middle) with the Chairman, Adhoc Committee on Pipe Line Explosion in Komkom Community, Rivers State, Senator Ibrahim Gabir (left), Senator George Thompson Sekibo (right) and other members of the committee during a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says do or die political attitude of politicians was responsible for the current violent and divisive condition of the country.
Speaking at the annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike emphasised that peace building should be all-inclusive, as all hands must be on deck.
The governor, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, expressed worry that the current political culture has negatively affected the psyche of Nigerians to the extent that they feel ostracised in governance.
“There is huge apathy among the citizenry, and the adverse impact on national psyche is unquantifiable.
“Peace is at all-time low before, during and after elections”, Wike declared.
The Governor advocated for a new kind of political culture that will de-emphasise tribalism, but said the media and public relations professionals have huge role to play in bringing about the change.
He commended the media in Rivers State, which he said, stood firmly for the truth during the last elections, as he enjoined others to emulate.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Bro. Emmanuel Ogidi, decried the high ethnic and religious campaigns championed by politicians, and observed that this attitude further divides the country and disrupts social harmony and unity.
For him, the way out is for public relations practitioners to reframe the narrative by promoting a conciliatory and friendly communication system that would enhance national development.
In his remarks, the President and Chairman of NIPR Governing Council, Mallam Muktar Sirajo, emphasised the need for governments at all levels to include public relations experts in the formulation of its policies and programmes.
He further urged managers of private and public sector establishments, especially ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to comply with the NIPR Act by appointing professionals as PR officers to manage their Public Affairs or Public Relations units, saying that it was criminal offence to ignore the provisions of the law in making such appointments.
The NIPR helmsman further stressed the need to promote those values that would engender unity, reasoning that the nation’s diversity could be exploited for development.
Also speaking, the state Chairman of NIPR, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said the theme of the conference, “Post Election Peace Building: The Role of Public Relations”, was not only apt but strategically aimed at setting agenda for peace-building in the state and the nation.
Nsirim maintained that a new narrative that would stimulate development and better the country was what was desperately needed now in the country.
While delivering his presentation, the keynote speaker and Professor of Development Communication in the Rivers State University, Prof. Godwin Okon, described the just-concluded 2019 general election as one that recorded the highest apathy since the return of democracy in 1999.
Okon, who spoke on the theme: “Post Election Peace Building: The Role of Public Relations”, sought for overhaul of the nation’s political communication culture such that there would be peace before, during and after all elections.
He said that the current scenario only creates apathy and marginalisation, which integrated public relations, can trigger a change through open, fair and balanced communication process.