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The Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has announced plans to organise a Citizens Summit on National Integration, Peace and Security to help stem the tide of problems facing Nigeria.
The NIPR said the Summit which is meant to address issues of marginalisation, agitations, among others; once completed, it will ensure its resolutions see the light of day.
This was disclosed by Barr. Haroun Audu, Member NIPR Governing Council, during the inauguration of Plateau State Planning and Coordinating Committee and Sub Committees of the body’s Citizens’ Summit on National Integration, Peace and Security, in Jos, the State Capital.
Haroun said, “The Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) Governing Council has come to terms with the fact that the current conversation about mutual coexistence is been dictated by people who have narrow views, who will rather prefer that we disintegrate, and these are people who don’t represent the best of us.
“And we find out that a lot of the conversation is being held in silos; people are living in their little corners and throwing invective, and exchanging all manners of words and phrases that do not aid the good of the country.
“We have agreed as a Governing Council of the NIPR to stage what is call, a Citizens Summit on National Integration, Peace and Security.
“The ideal thing being, we need the people to talk, as communication is an oil and if we deploy it rightly, we can have a sincere conversation about our different challenges.
He maintained that, “As an Institute, we don’t pretend, Nigeria is faced with many problems, any of these problems are capable of being discussed and resolved, via non violent communication.
“So the idea is to hold a Citizenship Summit in the 36 States of the federation, at the six geopolitical zones and eventually with the national summit that will hold between November/December”, he explained.
He added that the participants will be drawn from over 34 sociocultural professional entities across the country.
“We are consulting with all of them; and so far Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum, NUJ, BON, Afenifere, Leadership of the South-South, and just about everybody that you know has had a comment or the other to make.
“The calls or agitations about marginalisation, distribution of offices, resource control and most importantly, about security provisions; we have to integrate them into this and all the security agencies have also been integrated as part of this.
“And we are pleased to announce that in the last eight weeks, all our consultations with these broad sections of people have yielded positive outcomes; everybody has agreed to be on board, including the government as well”.
Haroun assured that the NIPR will do its best to ensure that the outcome of the summit sees the light of the day.
“The difference is that the NIPR by virtue of its professional standing, is a body that practices, trains and advocates for relationship building”, he explained.
“We are going to insist that the outcome of this summit at the three levels is going to be carried through a specific mechanism for advocacy.
He added that, “Post summit, we will engage stakeholders especially in the public sector because at the end of the day; government is central because they bear the primary responsibility of the welfare and security of the citizenry”.
The Governing Council member assured that an advocacy platform will be activated at the end of the Summit to continue to make whether is the State House of Assembly or the State Command or whatever is not allowed to go to sleep; until they begin to engage and provide solution, that would be done at all the aforementioned levels.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information, Plateau State, Hon. Dan Manjang, said, “National integration seeks for us to look at our diversities and still incorporate those diversities.
“Most importantly, peace and security, there is nothing anybody can do without them in this country and the world at large.
Manjang said the timing of the Summit is apt.
“More so, for us in Plateau State, there can be no Summit more important than this one; because we pride ourselves as the ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’, and that we should cash in on, and we will throw our weight behind this Summit”, he stressed.