Public Relations Practitioners, especially those reporting events in the Niger Delta have been charged to eschew speculation and rather explore ways of ensuring that issues at stake are clearly articulated and simplified.
According to the Managing Director/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha, this will help to create mutual understanding capable of engendering mutual effort or commitment to resolving the issues.
Mr. Ugwoha stated this while speaking as Chairman of the 2009/2010 Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Public Relations, Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt.
He described as apt the theme of the conference "Communicating Under Crisis: The Niger Delta Case" arguing that time has come for communication practitioners to change their strategy on the publicisation of the Region’s crisis.
"The question we should ask ourselves and other communication practitioners is how are we packaging the Niger Delta crisis. Most times our reports are skewed towards creating alarm and inflaming the already tense situation", the Managing Director/CEO said.
Mr. Ugwoha challenged the Public Relations Practitioners to communicate the Niger Delta crisis in a very candid and honest manner, highlighting the positive strides of development Agencies in the region. "State the facts as they are, be honest about what we know and what we don’t know and avoid speculation", he advised.
The NDDC Boss stressed that no effort should be spared in achieving peace in the Niger Delta, pointing out that peace remains key to the desired developmental transformation of the region.