The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) had today inaugurated National Planning Committee (NPC) for the proposed Citizens summit on national integration, peace, and security.
The proposed summit, which is in response to the current socio-economic and security challenges in the country, is aimed at providing a credible platform for initiating national cohesion, peace building and reconciliation. This will also promote the operational ideals of the NIPR which is characterized by fostering understanding and mutual respect, build goodwill and strengthen bonds of relationship among different stakeholders.
During the presentation of the concept document, the chairman of the national planning committee Dr. Ike Eleagwu disclosed that the summit seeks to provide citizens solution to the current socio-economic and security challenges of the country, adding that it hopes to create a process to activate national reconciliation, promote mutual trust, respect and how to communicate with mutual respect.
Speaking during the inauguration exercise, the President of the NIPR, Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo fnipr remarked that a scan through the various news item reveals that there is an urgent need for the restoration of peace, security, confidence, and mutual understanding in our nation. While adding that the absence of peace and security in any nation impedes harmonious relationship and makes stunted economic development inevitable.
He called on all to hearken to this clarion call and join in this noble initiative, adding that the exercise is not done for any political purpose, but rather as relationship builders and menders, reputable auditors, and managers as well as promoters of understanding and goodwill, we are wishing that the professional practice of public relation strategically place on us skills to facilitate the return of our country to the path of sanity.
The president then formally inaugurated the committee with Dr. Ike Eleagwu as the Chairman and a host of other members.
The Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) Otumba Segun Runsewe who was present at the occasion and was also inaugurated as a member of the National Planning Committee, disclosed that with the current happenings in the country, if measures like this is not effectively put in place, the future of our children is very bleak. While adding that this is the time to tell ourselves the truth, he emphasized that the herdsmen and bandits causing problems in this country are not Nigerians, but foreigners who have come destroy the country, as kidnapping is now an industry in the country that is driving away investors.
Also present at the inauguration, was the national president of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Comr. Chris Isiguzo who while pledging the media’s full support for the proposed exercise, stated that though the situation in the country today has some political undertone, but that we should not allow the politicians to divide us.
Also speaking at the occasion was the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Dr. Garba Abari who remarked that this is a time for sober reflection among us to define our sense of nationhood, adding that it is a clarion for us to revitalize our love and best wishes for our country.
Similarly, Dr. Mike Omeri, the immediate past Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) who was also inaugurated as a member of the NPC, remarked that a lot have been said about insurgency and insecurity in Nigeria, but what will make this one different will be in its approach. He emphasized on the need to create new national directions by creating non-violent approaches to communication as brothers and neighbors.
Also the Executive Secretary of the Broadcasting Organizations Of Nigeria (BON) Oluyemisi Bamgbose, emphasized on how to take proactive steps in implementing all that have been said and the ideas that have been brought forth.
Also, the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Ken Ukaoha, who decried the rate at which the level of insecurity has amounted to the hike in the price of goods, stated that they is no better platform to talk about Nigeria, a place of wealth, a place of progress, a place of development, than where we are. Adding that the politicians have outrun the entire space to the point that no one knows the progressive minds any longer.
The exercise hopes to take place at three levels: the state level, the zonal level cutting across the six geopolitical zones and the citizens summit at the national level.
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included; Sani Sulaiman, Executive Director News, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Rev. Ladi Thompson, Special Adviser, Conflict Resolution & Matters related to Terrorism at Christian Association of Nigeria, other directors of agencies, heads of labour unions and groups, heads of civil societies, media partners and press men.