By Nakanda Iyadim
Mr. Benedict Okache of the Cross River State Ministry of Information has been re-elected as State Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Cross River State Chapter for another two years term.
The members of NIPR have also elected Nine others to pilot the affairs of the Public Relations professional body in the State for another two years.
The election which took place during the 2023 State Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the permanent site of the Institute’s Image House in the State at ENIMA OMIN,off Tinapa Road Calabar, was witnessed by the President and Chairman of NIPR Governing Council, Dr. Ike Neliaku,who was represented by immediate past Commissioner for Information, Rivers State and a member of the Governing Council Pastor Paulinus Nsirim.
In his remarks on behalf of the NIPR President,Pastor Paulinus Nsirim thanked members of the NIPR in the State for their orderly conduct which led to the delivery of a free, fair and credible election and congratulated the new Executive on their emergence.
He charged them to live above board by evolving strategies and programmes that will reinvigorate the chapter to be at par with its counterpart in the country.
He explained that ‘the new Governing Council of the NIPR is desirous to make the Institute stand firm and become a force to be reckoned with in Nigeria,assuring that a lot is being done to weed out quarks in the profession.
“As you are coming on board alongside the current Governing Council, know that a lot is expected of you. We want to build NIPR that will stand shoulder to shoulder with other prominent professional bodies in Nigeria,” Pastor Nsirim maintained.
The Former Rivers State Information Commissioner went on to assert that “For this reason, we are taking the issue of professionalism very seriously and all of you that have been elected should know that the task ahead is enormous and it will no longer be business as usual because we are expecting a lot of commitments and dedication from every chapter.
“I charged you to leave a legacy after your tenure. This will require that all of you must work as a team, cooperate with your State and chairman and creatively think out of the box to see how you can leave the desired legacy for posterity”.
While warning against any acts that is inimical to the growth of the Institute, the Council Member pointed out that they are people whose stock in trade are to break the ranks and urged all members to work as one united family if they must succeed.
“Leadership is a collective responsibility. So, whatever happened during the life of your administration will be a collective success or failure of that organization; I charge you to be creative and aspire to succeed in all aspect as you serve this chapter”.
He charged the State Chairman to carry everyone along in execution of his legitimate assignment, former Information Boss admonishes, “Be opened to constructive criticism because it will help you to grow as a leader.
“I urged every member of NIPR in Cross River to please give them the maximum support it requires by being actively involved in the chapter’s activities as well as be financially up to date, He added”.
The Council Member stressed the need for the Executive and members to fashion out ways on how to build the Chapter’s Image House for Cross River State, adding that, “if everyone should channel their goodwill to this project, harnessing resources within and outside the State, you will see that in no distant time you will see to the actualization of this edifice,” and lauded his host for the hospitality.shown him.
In his response, Mr. Benedict Okache, who took oath for another 2-year term in office, thanked everyone for the confidence reposed in them to pilot the affairs of the Pradise chapter of the NIPR.
According to the State Chairman who was returned unopposed with 31 vote cast, “this is the greater together team 2 and I assure you that we will not disappoint you.
We will continue from where we stopped with giving Public Relations practice greater Visibility in the State,engerder greater Professionalism and Excellence in order to serve you even better during this second journey. Please, we need your commitment, determination, unhindered cooperation and support so we can serve you better because we will strive to ensure that Cross River State Chapter of NIPR remain atop.
Others elected to serve were: Chaplain Emmanuel Bassey Effiom -State Vice Chairman, Dr. Austin Mboso- State General Secretary, Esther Oden Okoi- State Assistant General Secretary I, Mrs. Kejie-Zita Owan – State Assistant General Secretary II and Mrs. Deborah Grace Eme Awatt- State Treasurer.
Others are Mr. Peter Obi Okim- State Financial Secretary and Deacon IchaI tomo Mboto-State Auditor, Mrs. Chioma Adaobi Oti is to serve as Public Relations Executive,Dr Agnes Bassey EDEM- State Welfare Officer I and Mrs. Margaret Innocent Okoi -State Welfare Officer II.
The State AGM featured award presentations to eminent Cross Riverians including Dr Betta Edu for 2023 Outstanding Enterprising Woman in Nigeria Award 2023,Distinguished Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe for Best Dividends of Democracy Award 2023,and Chief Festus Ikechi Olumati for Outstanding Maritime Relations 2023 Award,as well as the 27th Edwin Eja Memorial Lecture with the theme; The Future of Public Relations Practice in Nigeria: Maximizing Marketing Opportunities in a Dynamic Environment, delivered by erudite Professor Peter Esuh, Dean, Faculty of Media & Communication Studies, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.