As NSCDC holds a strategic communication conference on security

Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has said that rising insecurity is no longer an issue in Nigeria as the situation has since been controlled irrespective of what western nations say.

Adesina made the assertion at a Three-Day strategic communication conference for Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC) state commandants of the provosts of training institutes and public relations officers tagged ‘Managing Sensitive Conflict Communication Amidst Rising Insecurity for Organisational Development, yesterday in Abuja.

He said that insecurity is no longer rising in Nigeria alluding to the theme of the conference to which he said “To a large extent, there is control of the security situation in Nigeria irrespective of what western nations said about it, we know that that is not exactly the truth. Our security agencies have a firm grip on the security situation in Nigeria.”

Stressing the role of synergy among PROs in the security sector, the special adviser noted the pivotal role of effective and strategic communication in managing sensitive conflict communication and the importance of taking seriously the public relations office by granting officers holding such positions access to their information and their bosses at all times.

“Many organisations relegate their public relations offices and officers and only remember them when they are in trouble but that should not be the case. I must say that the NSCDC PTO is doing very well and I know that must be because his superior has granted him access hence he draws his strength from the leadership of the corps.

“Unless a public relations manager has access, he or she cannot perform well because that is how to manage strategic and sensitive information so you must have confidence in the person in your public relations unit, if you don’t, you will fail,” Adesina warns.

Commandant General, NSCDC, Associate Professor, Ahmed Audi, noted the aptness of the theme of the conference which “cannot be farther than appropriate as it speaks eloquently to the security challenges of our dear country.”

“Nigeria in recent times has witnessed security challenges such as Boko Haram activities, banditry, kidnapping and Herders-Farmers clashes.

“All these unwanted scenarios have made National Security threats to be a major issue for the government and has prompted a huge allocation of the national budget to security.

He lamented that “That is not all; there are frequent assaults to many key national assets and infrastructure, oil bunkering, electrical/communication installations vandalism and many more.

Audi said although security challenges are a global phenomenon that needs to be tackled to create an enabling environment for socio-economic development. Insecurity does not only pose threats to the lives and property of citizens but arrest the overall development of a nation.

“This Conference is, therefore, a very momentous occasion to begin to showcase what the Civil Defence has achieved by better coordinated and well-communicated information by our Public Relations Officers.

“It will also address critical issues that will allay our fears, probe our challenges and entrench the ability to create an ambience of peace and security as we move towards the 2023 general elections,” he adds.

On his part, minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the conference will ensure that officers are abreast of best practices in communication management and public relations because “communication is the soul of public relations hence public relations is core to every security organization, especially with emerging security issues facing the country.

Represented by the PRO, Nigerian Correctional Service, (NCoS), Umar Abubakar, who also serves as the representative of the Controller General of the NCoS, Haliru Nababa, the minister said “with proper communication management, these challenges will surely be surmounted.”

Further stressing key objectives of the conference, PRO, NSCDC, Olusola Odumosu, said the meeting being the first of its type in the corps, aims to cement knowledge acquired in various workshops and trainings and how to best apply it for better public perception, building confidence and to deliver effectively on the job in the face of security challenges.

“So, I implore you Critical Stakeholders, my professional colleagues and in the spirit of nation building to open your eyes and minds so we can cross-fertilize ideas and learn also, how to effectively communicate to the public in a manner that brings credibility and maintain the goodwill we enjoy in the eyes of the public.

“I salute the sacrificial efforts of the Deputy Controller Generals, (DCGs), Assistant Controller Generals, (ACGs), and State Commandants towards the success of this auspicious occasion and say without mincing words that your support is worthy of applause,” he said.

Present at the meeting were public relations officers from the Department of State Security, (DSS), the Nigeria Intelligence Agency, (NIA), the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related matters Commission, (ICPC), the Federal Roads Safety Corps, (FRSC), the NCoS and the Federal Fire Service among others.

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