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As Nigerians gear up for leadership recruitment through the ballot in 2023, a national lawmaker and member representing Etinan/Nsit Ubium/Nsit Ibom Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Barrister Onofiok Luke, has urged the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to set the agenda and be in the forefront of the process.

Barrister Luke made this known at the Image House, Uyo, on Thursday where he presented a PR Lecture as a Special Guest during the October Meeting of the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Institute.

Addressing members of the Institute and other attendees via Google Meet on “the Role of PR in Governance, National Integration, Peace and Security,” the national lawmaker said it was imperative for Nigerians to pursue things that will integrate and unite the people more than ever.

He maintained that “There could have been no better profession to properly champion this course than the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations. As we begin another leadership recruitment process, this revered Institute must look beyond helping to stem the tide of problems facing the country and its people to being in the forefront of driving conversations that will rebuild trust, stimulate mutual coexistence, address the issue of marginalization and advocate unity.”

Barrister Luke said governance, national integration, peace, unity and security are inextricably tied to each other and that achieving them would be easier if certain issues that have formed the fundamentals of agitations within the Nigerian states are resolved using the platform that NIPR has offered.

“The NIPR platform is a very credible and non-partisan platform that promotes excellence in relationship building, reconciliation and so on. So, in setting the agenda for leadership recruitment, NIPR must be committed to making Nigerians united, viral, strong and formidable. Just like Akwa Ibom State has taken the centre stage in the comity of states, Nigeria has the potentiality of emerging as a foremost nation of the world.”

In recruiting leaders that will drive the Nigeria Project, the national lawmaker said “emphasis should be placed on persons with tested record of public or private sector, stellar performance, intellectual acumen and on one with a good heart for service to the people.”

As a memorial, Barrister Luke made a donation of N1million in honour of the pioneer Chapter Chairman of the Institute, Mr. Okon W. Udoh, and appealed that the money be used for PR Quiz Competitions amongst Secondary School Students in the state.

In his remarks, the Chapter Chairman of the Institute, Mr. Nsemeke Akpan, expressed appreciation to the national lawmaker, whom he described as a friend and a brother.

Mr. Akpan further said “today’s PR Lecture by Barrister Onofiok Luke will remain indelible in our hearts. You have given the Chapter another perspective to Public Relations, one that has instilled in us a great hope. You shall forever remain in our debt.”

Some of the people that attended the PR Lecture included Chief Isong Akpabio; Akparawa Okon Imerh; Mrs. Elsie Udofia; Prof Des Wilson; Mrs. Elsie Udofia; the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh; Zonal Coordinator of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr. Uduak Obot; the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Odiko MacDon; Dr Unwana Charles of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic; Obong Kingsley Peters, Barrister Omen Bassey among others.

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