By Abiodun Lawal
Abeokuta – The President, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Mukhtar Sirajo, on Thursday, stressed the need for building strong institutions towards strengthening and improving the nation’s democracy.
Sirajo, who spoke in Abeokuta at the 2019 annual colloquium of the Ogun chapter of NIPR, bemoaned the spate of impunity in governance and the public sector, saying it had gradually been weakening the nation’s institutions.
Sirajo, who was represented by the NIPR Registrar, Kayode Yeku, said that Nigeria required visionary leaders, and not strong men, to build democratic institutions that would outlast generations.
According to him, if leaders build strong institutions, the democratic system will be strengthened and improved, in spite of the weakness or strength of the person in authority.
He said: “Only visionary leaders, and not strong men, are able to build democratic institutions that would outlast generations. Africa is where it is today because strong men ruled its weak institutions.
“For example, in a presidential system of government, it is essential that the judiciary, the legislature and the executive arms of government work hand-in-hand, albeit independent of one another.
“It is worthy of note that the economic prosperity and obedience to the rule of law, which exist in Western countries, can be attributed to functional strong institutions,” he said.
Sirajo also called on government at all levels as well as the private sector to assist in enforcing the Act setting up public relations practice by ensuring that operators were certified members of NIPR.
In her address, the state Deputy Governor, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, stressed the imperative of public relations in achieving good governance in the country.
She pointed out that practical use of professional public relations would help in achieving positive social effects in the five basic social institutions, including family, government, economy, education and religion.
“All over the world, PR is required for organisations, governments and other institutions to attain its main objectives effectively and efficiently. So good public relations must come to play in order to achieve good governance,” the deputy governor said.
Earlier, the state NIPR Chairman, Lekan Togunwa, said the colloquium was aimed at demonstrating how public relations could be used in rebuilding Nigeria’s social institutions to fast track genuine progress and development.