Lai Mohammed Challenges NIPR To Promote National Unity

Work For National Unity, Minister Tasks NIPR - Sahel Standard

Yemisi Izuora

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has

appealed to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to use

its network to promote unity in the country, in the wake of discordant

voices threatening the peace and security of the country.

The Minister made the call on Thursday in his address at the Annual

General Meeting of NIPR in Bauchi on Thursday.

“I have decided to take up the (NIPR) President on this offer, by

appealing to the NIPR, which I consider a key stakeholder on national

issues, to use its powerful platform to work for the unity of this

country. That task has never been more urgent than now, against the

background of discordant voices in the country and growing calls for

separation.

“I see the NIPR as a capable partner in the government’s efforts to

douse the tension in the land and beat the drum of unity, rather than

the drum of war,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed said while it is alright for citizens to call for

restructuring and true federalism, what is not acceptable is the call,

in certain quarters, for secession, stressing that whatever challenges

we face today, as a nation, can and will be surmounted.

“In fact, the Federal Government has set in motion the necessary

machinery to frontally tackle the challenge of insecurity. We should

therefore not allow today’s challenges, whether in the area of the

economy or security, to jeopardize our unity,” he said.

The Minister said without a country that is peaceful and secure, there

can be no development, adding: ”That’s why this administration is

doing everything possible to return peace and security across the

country.”

He also sought the partnership of NIPR in the fight against fake news

and misinformation, which he described as a clear and present danger

to the peace, security and development of any nation.

“Another area in which I want to task the NIPR is the Federal

Government’s fight against fake news and misinformation. The NIPR can

and should leverage its powerful platform to ensure that the menace of

fake news and misinformation is confronted squarely. This is because

this twin evil is a clear and present danger to the peace, security

and development of any nation,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He urged NIPR to assist the government by ensuring that members of the

Institute do not become accessories to the spread of fake news and

misinformation.

“I say this because some of your members have been found waiting in

this regard, as they have placed pecuniary interests and motives above

professional ethics and patriotism.

”If you recall the sad incident of the P&ID saga, it was a member of

this Institute, a firm of Public Relations Consultants, that was hired

to give the impression to the world that Nigeria indeed entered into

an agreement with P&ID and actually reneged, and as such Nigeria

should pay over US$9 billion.

”It took this Ministry and others to go to the UK to debunk the

misinformation and change the narrative. I

have no doubt that NIPR can prevent a recurrence of this kind of

behaviour on the part of its members,” the Minister said.

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