PR Has No Barriers- Doyin Ogunbiyi

Me, Daniel’s girl friend? Rubbish! …Says Ogunbiyi, ex-GTDC MD
From Moshood Adebayo, Abeokuta,
Friday, October 9, 2009

Deaconess Doyin Ogunbiyi, former Managing Director, Gateway Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), was the casualty of the rift between Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, over the latter’s comment on the state of roads in Abeokuta, the state capital, last year.

Oba Gbadebo, the immediate past Chairman of the state Council of Traditional Rulers and Obas, was almost deposed by Daniel over his effrontery to challenge the state government over the terrible state of roads within his domain. In the melee, Ogunbiyi was relieved of her position for challenging the state Commissioner for Information Orientation who was believed to have written a powerful press statement against the traditional ruler. Although she was later appointed as a member of the Gateway Oil & Gas, Ogunbiyi later threw in the towel citing personal reasons and the suffering of her business as reasons.

Ogunbiyi speaks on these issues and her rumoured love relationship with the governor.

No regret

I have no regret for what I did that later saw me out of the GTCD. In fact, if I have the opportunity, I will do so again. What I did was in good faith. As a professional public relations practitioner, I have no regret for my action that cost me my job. PR is about reputation management. Anything that will tarnish your image is what PR manages. Absolutely, I have no regret for what happened to me. It is expected of anybody that says the truth, because truth is bitter. There are better approaches to that issue that saw me out of the tourism office. I don’t want to go into the tutorials of that now.

Why I resigned

I am a very spiritual person. I placed my decision before God and He alone has given me the go-ahead to do what I have just done. It is final. There is no going back. Before I took the decision, I went before the Lord and He gave me the go-ahead. I know I will not regret my action. There is nothing anybody can do about personal decision. This was a decision I made about five months ago, precisely in March. I had wanted to make it a birthday gift to myself. After my exit from the GTDC I re-opened my public relations office which I had shut for some time. I opened up my clientele again. PR is the life blood of any organization. Nobody can do without it. Every organization needs public relations. If after one year I unceremoniously left office, yet I am what I am today, I know deep down in me that I will not regret my action. My resignation will only give me opportunity to concentrate my resources and energy on my own business which has suffered lull for almost six years. I closed up this office to concentrate on business activities.

PR has no barriers

I can’t continue to practice with all barriers. My clientele has to cut across all boards, across parties, across social strata. It has no barriers. As a PR consultant, the publics are my constituency. There should not be any barrier, either political, religious or status. As a professional and as a PDP card-carrying member, I should not hesitate to work for other political parties who want my PR consultancy. If you are a medical doctor and a card-carrying member of the ruling PDP, and somebody is dying in ANPP, AC or any other political party, are you saying you will not attend to him? We have to relive that out of politics. We should practice politics without bias. If today in the state, I have to generate money through PR and Marketing for the state government. If I have to take money from the ANPP or AC, I will gladly do so. We should not allow politicking to affect relationship. Relationship is everlasting and politicking is transient. Everybody will come and go. If any of my siblings is in the opposition, will I not talk to him for life. If you spoil it today and you need tomorrow, how would you get it after government.

Life as an oil & gas member

Thank God, it is all over. I did my best as a member. What I received as a member of the Gateway Oil & Gas was N20,000 monthly. That’s what the appointment attracts and that’s just the truth, nothing, but the truth.

Resignation and Daniel

When reminded that her action might generate reaction from Daniel that gave her the appointment, Ogunbiyi said: “Action begets reaction. I don’t want anything to make me change my mind. Once I make up my mind on doing a thing, I go ahead to do it. I did not tell the governor before taking my decision. If I had contacted people before I took the decision, it would manipulate my soul, and I did not want that to happen. When the governor removed me, there was no prior consultation with me. He took his decision based on policy matter. I am taking my own decision based on business and career matters. There is no misunderstanding in that area at all. I don’t want us to narrow it to him as a person. It is a decision that I have taken to move my business and career forward.

Asked why she took the board appointment after her unceremonious exit from the GTDC: “I took the appointment not on my will, really. I did it on sentimental basis. I have tried for these past months and I can no longer cope with it. I took the appointment in good faith and I am also quitting in good faith. I think I should even be commended for taking the appointment at all. If I had wanted to consider the way I was booted out of my former office, I would have rejected it out rightly. It was magnanimity on the state government and magnanimity on my part too.

Daniel versus Alake

You can’t talk about my resignation without referring to what led to my removal from the GTDC. Truth exalts a nation. If you want blessing, if you want to be exalted by God, you must always tell the truth. That was exactly what I did. Anyway, there is no regret. When such an incident happened and I was confronted by the office of the Chief of Staff who told it to my face that I was not part of the system. Then, the following day, I was removed. It is just logical to link my removal. In my spirit, yesterday is gone and life goes on. I don’t bear grudges with anyone. I don’t have a place in my heart to hold offences. That’s the secret of my youthful look.

As a PR consultant, I know deep down in me that if there had been consultation, communication and research into the situation then, it would not have happened the way it did. It was a PR error. I have no regret at all. If tomorrow I still need professionally to speak in the same way, I will still speak, no matter whose ox is gored. What I did was to protect the interest of the government and it was misconstrued. As a member of the government, I had to work in the interest and progress of the government, That was exactly what I did. I was loyal to the government, in fact that was what prompted my action. That was extreme loyalty. PR is about truth. The slogan of PR is: ‘Say it as it is.’ How can I as a professional know that curing an headache with panadol will be better than only water and I refuse to administer that, just because I am afraid of the patient? I am a typical Egba woman, born and bred in Abeokuta, drank Ogun River. I say it as I see it.

Daniel my boy friend?

Insult. Where did you hear that? There is nothing like that and that’s the truth. Whatever you would have heard outside that is mere rumour. I don’t reckon with rumour. That’s their business. My conscience is clear. It is the stock in trade of our people. I don’t bother about that, since my conscience is clear. I don’t waste my energy contending with falsehood. I was a secret admirer of Daniel during his campaign in 2003. I admired his strength, industry and gut through which he traversed the length and breadth of the state. That was just that. Nothing more. In 2003, when providence brought him into power, I served in three different workgroups before my several appointments.

Culled from The Sun Newspaper

Filed Under: Interviews

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