Nigerian Military and NIPR: Pursuing a Shared Vision
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
I doubt if anybody is ignorant on what it is all about. But per chance, if there are persons who may not know much about the Nigerian military, then, here we go!
The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN), or better still, the Nigerian military, are/is the combined military forces of Nigeria. It consists of three uniformed service branches: the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, and Nigerian Air Force.
The President of Nigeria functions as the Commander-in-Chief, C-in-C, of the armed forces, exercising his constitutional authority through the Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for the management of the military and its personnel.
The operational head of the AFN is the Chief of the Defence Staff, CDS, who is subordinate to the Nigerian Defence Minister.
How about the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, NIPR? The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations with the acronym NIPR, was established in 1963.
The body attained the status of a Chartered Institute in June 1990 through Decree No. 16 (now an Act of the National Assembly) from which it derives the power and responsibility to register members, and set parameters of knowledge to acquire to qualify to practise.
NIPR also regulates the practice and development of the PR Profession, as well monitor professional conducts through an established Code of Ethics, amongst others.
As it is the practice with respectable professional organizations everywhere, the law stipulates standard academic and professional qualifications for admission into the Institute.
The military and NIPR have distinct statutory responsibilities. The former is saddled with the job of safeguarding and protecting the territorial integrity of the nation, against both internal and external aggression.
The later busies itself with regulating the activities PR experts and firms who undertake the responsibility of nurturing and sustaining public goodwill for individuals and corporate organisations, among others.
Nevertheless, they have shared commitment and visions, and they have both pledged to assiduously pursue these commitment and visions to fruitful accomplishment.
To achieve that, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, on his part, has reiterated the commitment of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) to advance the course of professional bodies in the country, including the NIPR.
The CDS made the disclosure when members of the Governing Council of NIPR visited him at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), in Abuja, recently.
Gen. Irabor, said the Armed Forces is a professional and law abiding Institution, as such, it will seek to advance the course of professional groups in line with the rule of law and international best practices.
He revealed that the yearnings are manifested in the training, administrative policies and operational engagement of the AFN.
The CDS lauded the existing capacity training partnership between NIPR and DHQ, as well as the Services towards enhancing the professional skills and knowledge of Public Relations and Information personnel for effective service delivery.
The Defence Chief enjoined the Institute to avail itself of the opportunity of shaping and disseminating right narratives about military operations and other engagements, aimed at bringing lasting peace in troubled parts of the country.
He further explained that the interaction with both parties would bring out the right content which is needed to shape the narratives.
Earlier in his remarks, NIPR President, Mallam Mukhtar Zubairu Sirajo, stated that the AFN and the Institute have maintained a robust working relationship in ensuring that professionalism and professionalisation of the services of public relations are effectively managed.
The NIPR President expressed his appreciation to the AFN for supporting its Citizens Summit on National Integration, Peace and Security held across the 6 Geo-Political Zones.
He further added that the National Summit will hold on 27 January 2022, in Abuja.
Mallam Sirajo, also revealed that NIPR is ready to further expand its partnership with AFN in the area of relationship building and mending, as well as communication and information management training.
In the wake of the parley between the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, and NIPR, observers will be anticipating that pragmatic steps are swiftly taken to further guarantee the actualization of both institutions’ over-aching vision of fostering national peace, unity and security, in our contemporary, but troubled Nigeria.
Mahmud Abdulsalam is an Assistant Editor PRNigeria
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