By Patrick Obia and Margaret Adado
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has inducted 95 new members with a charge to think and act in ways that will return Nigeria to her days of glory.
The induction comes after a three-day developmental training by the institute held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
And, the national president, Alhaji Mukhtar Sirajo in his address at the induction ceremony on Wednesday, called for a deep reflection about Nigeria and charged the new inductees as well as old members to relate with everyone regardless of their tribe, religion and dress code.
“I want to appeal to all of us as we join this profession and as some of us have remained in this profession, we should always wake up and go to bed thinking of what we can do to ensure that Nigeria returns to those old good days of glory where we related to one another like brothers and sisters without wanting to know what god we worshiped, what language we spoke or what kind of clothes we wore,” Mr. Mukhtar said and reminded attendees how things used to be even as he wondered what went wrong.
He averred that: “We used to enjoy very beautify relationships here as a people and it is not a century ago.
“Just very recently, as people that have been endowed with brains, we need to begin to ask ourselves questions; where did we lose it? How do we begin to retrace our steps? Is it the type of country we want to equip for our children? Are we going to be fair to them? Is it the country that was equipped to us by those that came before us? certainly no.”
In a bid to foster unity, Mr. Mukhtar announced that the institute was ready to partner “like minds” to achieve the objective which according to him, will be unveiled “before the middle of next year,” and admonished members to live by good examples.
“While we connect ourselves, gather all segments of Nigerians under one roof, let us look each other in the face and tell ourselves the whole truth, where did we get it wrong and how do we get it back again and we will want to fire this gospel to each and every one of us so that we preach it wherever we find ourselves,” he said.
“We encourage people to leave worthy legacies and worthy examples. We are going to begin to celebrate Nigerians who have performed one form of praying or patriotic duty or the other,” he added.
The guest speaker at the event was the commissioner for information and orientation in Cross River State, Mrs. Rosemary Archibong.
And, in her speech lamented that the Nigerian image was battered and needs redemption, a charge she gave to the inductees.
She later told journalists in an interview that: “Every aspect of their life must be that of image making, peace and positive communication. so I charge all of them to hold the tenet of the profession very high; to read, study, make investigations and to build a bridge between whatever is obtained between the institutions and the outside world.”
“In aggregate the various institutions make up our country and our state so they have a lot of work to do a lot of responsibility to make sure Nigeria is in a harmonious atmosphere,” she added.
A total of 129 people from across the country were shortlisted for associate and full members of the institute but only 95 were inducted with others not inducted for reasons ranging from absence to dress code among others.
Some who spoke to CrossRiverWatch expressed delight in the process.
“Today I was inducted to this institute and it has being a wonderful experience and is what everybody should be looking out for especially in the field of journalism, public relations and as communicators,” said Chimdi Ogochukwu.
Another inductee, Uchino Amatey told CrossRiverWatch that she could not hide her joy as the training and induction has given her confidence to practice.
“In this type of profession you need to be bold. So as a public relations person you know you always have to deal with the people,” Amatey said.
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