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 well-attended “Citizens Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security” held recently in Abuja. He stated this when the President and Chairman of Council of the NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Zubair Sirajo paid him a courtesy call at Headquarters Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Abuja. According to Air Marshal Amao, 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. He went on to add that, ‘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.’ Air Marshal Amao went further to state that the NAF concurred 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 minimize the risk of conflict and violent which are inimical to national security,’ he noted.
The CAS went on to aver 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 Summits such as the ‘Citizens Summit’ are the non-kinetic means deployed to give Nigerians a sense of national cohesion and integration. He also added that though 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 can barely address 20 percent of the security challenges being faced while the remaining 70 percent will be resolved via non-kinetic means such as the recently held NIPR Summit. The CAS 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, Mallam Sirajo had intimated Air Marshal Amao on the raison d etre behind the NIPR-organized ‘Citizens Summit’ which according to him, arose from Nigeria’s future being plagued by several developmental issues, lingering insecurity and unabating wave of agitations for cessation, among other challenges. This challenges thus informed the need for the Summit which wasn’t necessarily an event per se but a process that will fast-track national integration, peace and security. Mallam Mukhtar also briefed the CAS on NIPR’s solution-driven platform initiated by NIPR which necessitated the Institute to tour the 6 geo-political zones of the Country 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 PR practices in Nigeria, the Chairman added that though it frowned at the appointment of non professionals as PR Managers of government organizations, the Institute now conducts crashed master classes for such persons to enable them to be absorbed into the fold of the Institute.
In commending the CAS on his military leadership style which has seen the NAF play frontal roll in the decimation of terrorists, Mallan Sirajo noted that the outcome of NAF’s targeting of terrorists’ enclaves is there for all to see and appreciate. He thereafter solicited for NAF’s support in subsequent summits and other people-oriented projects. On the Chairman’s entourage were Vice President NIPR, Assistant Controller General of Custom Wale Adeniyi, Dr. Ike Neliaku, Chairman, NIPR Citizens Summit and other Council Members.