How ‘Unguarded’ Statements by Politicians Instill Mass Fear–Experts
Experts have identified lack of effective communication among political office holders as what instill fear in the minds of citizens.
The comments of some political leaders on social issues, have necessitated outbursts on social media.
This was delivered by discusssants through The School of Impactful Communication (TSIC), an assembly of PR practitioners and scholars in communication industry.
The session was archored by Ayodele Ishola a PR Practitioners and Dean/Facilitator, of TSIC via its social media platform.
Some of the issues raised was on the comment by Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on reason for herders to continue to moving round with firearms in other to protect themselves from carttle rustler.
Again, Bello Matawalle, Governor of Zamfara State, also reacted when he visited the president, Muhammadu Buhari at Also Rock on the ongoing Fulani herdsmen crises in country, saying that not all bandits are criminal while justifing this on ill-treated by some vigilante groups.
Also, Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), comments asking Nigerians to show courage and shun “cowardice” in the face of attacks by bandits.
Dr Otobo one of the discussant blames this on lack of political will to speak the truth adding that ‘it an act to avoid offending the powers at the centre or any powerful political block”.
Another discussant, Mr Clement Olagunju said Leadership Communication is about getting things done and keeping others engaged and connected. It’s about saying the right things, in a powerful way, to mobilize people and deliver results.
He said that a “Leadership should assume responsibility and acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. Be it whom the principal could be, it is neccesary they designate the right person to ‘take charge’ and coordinate the crisis response.”
In his contribution, Sanni Abdulraham adviced that most media aides need to be proactive and assertive in the discharge of our duties,to make Principals respect and consult before making statements that are injurious to our fragile democracy and the nation’s corporate existence.
Julian Taiwo also a discussant faulted that most aides were not not given free hand to work while ending up saying what their principals want to hear and not the truth.
“The spokespersons must from the word go set the rules of engagement, that they will be allowed free hand to do the job professionally.* She said.
Meanwhile, Charles Oni another discusssants pointed the unprofessional utterances by Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Femi Adesina saying ” At a time the country was turning upside down, the opus from Femi Adeshina was to call people speaking to power, “Wailers,”.
He however advised that the principal should be reminded on “consequences and posterity.”
Hadiza Usman, also a contributor maintained that during crisis, ‘message conveyed by any channel should be focused on dousing the situation to pave way for peace and ensure truce without bias.
She said: ” Leaders should also be wary of their utterances particularly when it has the power to derogate a section, take up their first appearance to calm all parties in crisis moments while concluding it with plea while ensuring justice to avoid future occurrences irrespective of the region.
Above all, Sanni Abdulraham concludes that all NIPR chapters both States and national executive should be proactive and step up measures to salvage the nation from the verge of collapse,occasioned by unguarded utterances of our leaders, by embarking on advocacies among others measures on the need for our leaders to always seek professional advice,training and retraining for them as well as the Media Aides.
By Kabir ABDULSALAM