The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has commended the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) for the successful hosting of the “Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security” held recently in Abuja.
Receiving the President and Chairman of Council of the NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Zubair Sirajo who paid him a courtesy call at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Headquarters in Abuja, Air Marshal Amao said that, going by the theme of the Summit, “Reopen Conversation, Rebuild Trust”, it was obvious that it aimed at bridging the widening trust gap between the leaders and the citizens, as well as amongst the citizens, through promotion of national integration and enhancement of cross-country peaceful co-existence.
The CAS further said: “For us in the Nigerian Air Force, we see your efforts as non-kinetic means of frontally confronting and addressing the myriads of security challenges facing us as a nation in view of its import to national integration and cohesion, reconciliation, peace and unity of all Nigerians”.
Amao said that the NAF agreed with the notion that most Nigerians care less about the country’s political problems, but rather its accelerated development and a stronger Nigeria built on equity, fairness, and justice. ‘”Indeed, a Nigeria built on these ideals will surely minimise the risk of conflict and violent which are inimical to national security”, he stated.
He argued that a whole-of-society approach towards tackling the various security challenges confronting the country remains the surest bet towards finding lasting solutions to the security challenges and activities such as the “Citizens Summit” are the non-kinetic means deployed to give Nigerians a sense of national cohesion and integration.
The CAS added that athough the NAF, in synergy with other sister services, has stepped up its air operations against enemies of the state with varying degrees of success, the efforts could barely address 20 percent of the security challenges being faced, while the remaining 70 percent would be resolved via non-kinetic means such as the recently held NIPR Summit.
He then assured the NIPR team of NAF’s support as they continually seek ways to foster cohesion, promote understanding, build relationships, and improve peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
Earlier, Sirajo had told that Amao that the “Citizens Summit” arose from the realisation that Nigeria’s future is being plagued by several developmental issues, lingering insecurity and unabating wave of agitations for cessation, among other challenges. These, according to the NIPR President, necessitated the Summit, which was not necessarily an event for its sake, but a process to fast-track national integration, peace and security.
He also highlighted the solution-driven platform initiated by NIPR which necessitated the Institute to tour the six geo-political zones to feel the pulse of Nigerians on the need for national cohesion and reintegration.
While informing the CAS that NIPR remains the only legal entity approved by law for the regulation of public relations practices in Nigeria, Sirajo said that although it frowned at the appointment of non professionals as PR Managers of government organisations, the Institute now conducts crashed master classes for such persons to enable them to be absorbed into its fold.
In commending the CAS on his leadership style, which has seen the NAF play frontal roll in the decimation of terrorists, the NIPR President noted that the outcome of NAF’s targeting of terrorists’ enclaves is there for all to see and appreciate.
He thereafter solicited NAF’s support in subsequent summits and other people-oriented projects.
On the President’s entourage were NIPR Vice President, Assistant Controller General of Customs Wale Adeniyi; Chairman, NIPR Citizens Summit, Dr Ike Neliaku, and other Council members.