As the nation fights its way through the present national security challenges as well as the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), stakeholders have canvassed for more professionalism in crisis communications management in Nigeria.
The calls were made in Abuja at the weekend at a book presentation on: ‘Award-Winning Crisis Communications Strategies’, authored by Yushau Shuaib, the publisher of PRNigeria and Economic Confidential.
Speaking at the event, the spokesperson of the Department of State Service (SSS), Peter Afunanya, noted that the book is not only timely but crucial to solving the emerging national crisis and security challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Afunanya said the book would go a long way in helping Nigeria deal with its crisis, as it is “action-packed in the sense that it contains usable strategies that can be deployed to save lives and humanity”.
In the same vein, the book presenter and ICPC Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, recommended it for the purpose of strategy during conflict times, “as we are currently facing the Coronavirus challenge in the country”.
Mr Owasanoye who was represented by the Director of Public Relations, ICPC, Rasheedat Okoduwa, stressed that “more than ever, the book is critical on national issues like insurgency and now we are dealing with the Coronavirus”.
Also speaking, the former Director of Defence Information (DDI) and pioneer Coordinator of Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA), Chris Olukolade, described the author as one of the most qualified people to write on ‘Award-Winning Crisis Communications Strategies’, as he is a living example.
Mr Olukolade, a retired major general, who was the chairman of the occasion, further described Mr Shuaib as the “doyen of Crisis Communication” in Nigeria while thanking him for his contributions over the years especially in the creation of FOSSRA and other strategic outfits in the country.
“The author is one person best qualified to write on Crisis Communications because he is an authority on this and popularised the coinage. If he writes a book on Crisis Communication, you can be sure it is authoritative. So public relations officers, professionals, journalists, scholars and all those interested in crisis communication will find it very useful,” he asserted.
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In the same vein, the Director-General National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN), Ahmed Nagode, agreed that there is no better time to have a book on ‘crisis management ‘ than now that Nigeria and the world is dealing with one form of crisis or the other.
According to Mr Nagode, who is also Chairman of Third-Estate Forum, the “globe is in crisis of Coronavirus and if there is one lesson learnt from the past events, it is that we did not manage our information management effectively”.
On his part, a senator, Umar Tambuwal, commended the author as someone who has made immense contributions towards national security and crisis management.
Mr Tambuwal recalled his useful contributions that helped to shape the successful passage into law of the Cybercrime Act, which according to him contained most of the useful parts of what are being clamoured by the proponents of ‘anti-social media bill’, adding that “everything has been captured in the Cybercrime Act”.
The Dean, School of Post-Graduate, Bayero University, Kano, Umaru Pate, commended the academic prowess of the author for remaining “convincingly committed to his professional engagement” against all odds.
Mr Pate described the release of the book as “Timely” and noted that it is very ambitious effort in trying to come up with an easy to read, fact based and tightly packaged text that can be read in brief but widely understood.
Earlier, the author of the book noted that the whole content are gamut of daily activities in crises management as well as award-winning case studies and experience he learnt and shared with bosses, colleagues, clients and from further studies.
Mr Shuaib said his desire to compile his previous experiences and presentations at capacity building programmes, Countering of Violent Extremism and Corporate Reputation Management was for the purpose of helping students and enthusiasts of public communication become more efficient and effective in their work.
Other Speakers at the event include the Spokespersons of Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and National Emergency Agency (NEMA) as well as the representatives of heads of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Central Bank of Nigeria, TETFUND and Crisis Communication Centre (CCC) among others.
The book has been endorsed by President of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mukhtar Sirajo, and that of the African Public Relations Association (APRA), Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, as well as immediate past President of International Public Relations Association (IPRA), Bart de Vries.