The morning after NIPR election
Dele Alao, Nigerian Compass
The much-touted Annual General Meeting and election of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations(NIPR) has come and gone, but the outcome may have sparked off a row among PR practitioners in the country,DELE ALAO writes.
Barely a week after the election to usher in a new executive to drive the affairs of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), indications have emerged at the weekend, that a group within the fold of the practitioners are not happy with the outcome of the election. The election took place in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The immediate Vice President, NIPR, Mohammed Abdullahi, emerged the president, defeating his close rival Yusuf Mohammad for the top position.
The Institute has produced 11 presidents so far.
Abdullahi, who took over from Professor Ikechukwu Nwosu, will pilot the affairs of the Institute for the next two years of one term. He may seek re-election for another two-year term.
It was gathered that Mohammad could not make it into the council as he did in 2007.
A total of 23 practitioners contested for the council seat out which the 17 that would form the 22-member council emerged. While the five nominees from the Federal Government to make the 22-member council are still being expected as at the time of filing in this report. The immediate past chairperson, Lagos state chapter, NIPR, Nkechi Ali-Balogun, who it was gathered also lost the bid to become a Fellow of the professional body could not make it to the Council. Thus, punctuating her ambition to be the first female president of the Institute since 1963. Few months back, Ali-Balogun was asked to do more as a PR professional before she could attain the highest status of the profession
According to the institute, an aspiring fellow must make a well-researched presentation on a specialised area of Public Relations, especially a project or campaign such aspiring fellow has participated in and must also defend the presentation before a panel of judges made up of senior practitioners and academics.
Besides, a prospective fellow would have spent at least ten years as a full member of the Institute and must be worthy in both learning and character as an ambassador of the Institute and the Public Relations profession.
Besides the new president, other members who got elected into the council include; Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, who handed over the baton of leadership to Ali-Balogun, as chairman, NIPR, Lagos chapter, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, Mouktar Suraju, Joseph Harry, Bakura Bajoga, Joe Ita, John Nwabuihi, Dennis Ekemezie, who is the vice president , and Akin Agbejule.
As it is, a group is crying foul over the results of the election, a member of the group who craved for anonymity told the Nigerian Compass that the group is rejecting the election.
“We are rejecting that election. We are going to give a press conference in Lagos on Monday (today). The election was not properly conducted,” the member said.
But, the Registrar, NIPR, Stephen Adebayo, in a telephone chat said that besides the fact that the election did not start on time, it was fair and free.
He said, “the election was okay. The same electoral committee who conducted the election in 2007, also conducted this year’s election. The only thing is that we did not start early because of some logistic problems. The election was well-organised even though there are rooms for improvement.”
He said that it was normal for people to challenge the outcome of any election result; provided there is a basis for such action.
“It is normal to challenge election results if there is a basis for that,” the Registrar said.
Known as the Public Relations Association of Nigeria (PRAN) at formation in 1963, the present name, NIPR, was adopted in 1972 with greater mandate and vision. The body, which attained the status of a chartered institute in June 1990 through Decree No. 16 (now an Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), regulates the practice and development of the Public Relations profession and monitors professional conducts through an established Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct regime.
•Dr. Sam Epelle (Late) -1963 – 1968
•Chief Kano Ofonery -1968 – 1972
•Tonye Willie Harry -1972 – 1976
•Alhaji Ikhaz Yakubu -1976 – 1980
•Chief Bob Ogbuagu -1980 – 1984
•Chief Alex Akinyele -1984 – 1988
•Mazi Mike Okereke -1988 – 1993
•Alhaji Sabo Mohammed, -1993 – 1998
•Chief Jibade Oyekan -1998 – 2001
•Sofiri Bobo Brown -2001 – 2005
•Professor Ike Nwosu -2005 – 2009