ABUJA – The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has recommended strategic communication as the foundation to crisis management and in curbing election violence.
The recommendation was contained in a communique issued by its director of public relations, DCC Olusola Odumuso, at the end of a three-day strategic communication conference for state commandants, provosts of Colleges, and image makers.
The conference , which was tagged, “STRACOMM 2022,” was targeted at the various gatekeepers and stakeholders of the Corps across the 36 state commands and FCT for improved service delivery.
The communique was developed to beckon a new era of strategic communications in the NSCDC’s operations and relations with the media and the public.
It advised image-makers from the various sectors of to economy, particularly security agencies to embrace strategic communication in crisis management as it provides clarity and direction for the masses, and partners in an otherwise uncertain and confusing time.
The conference pointed out that the key role of strategic communication during a crisis is to stabilize and advance a given organization by inspiring confidence, earning trust, and engaging stakeholders.
The communique further noted that clear, consistent communication is vital to successfully maintain continuity and full time recovery.
The workshop had a galaxy of resource persons who are core media professionals, image merchants and a few others from the academia; such as the Editor- In- Chief/ senior vice chairman of LEADERSHIP Group Limited, Mr Azu Ishiekwene, the managing editor, northern operations of the Nation Newspapers, Alhaji Yusuf Alli, the Secretary – general, Nigerian Guild of Editor / Bureau chief of Thisday Newspaper, among others
According to the communique, policy frameworks were developed and proposed to the management for adoption in the Corps’ Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The communique partly reads; ” The Corps , is to expand its Crisis Management Communication Plan (CMCP) by emplacing crisis communication strategies that will enable seamless communication between the Corps, the general public and the media during crisis, disasters, floodings, breakdown of law and order, electoral violence or crisis, banditry, kidnapping, and on attacks on Critical National Assets and Infrastructure as well as on many other acts of infringement on the law.
“The goal is to enable the Corps effectively prepare for potential crisis by developing and implementing contingency plans for crisis response mechanism. The CMCP would among other things help the Corps in the management of crisis and disaster by feeling the early warning signs and alerting the public immediately, against the aftermaths and the need to take necessary precautions and devise means of coming out of the situation whilst deciding on next course of action.
“In view of the forthcoming 2023 general election, the top officers resolve that the Corps, should adopt the non kinetic strategy to proffer lasting solution to vote buying, political thuggery, incitement of violence, hate speeches and so on during the forthcoming 2023 general elections via improved communication, information dissemination, interactions and education of the general public through mass media enlightenment.
The conference , agreed unanimously that as the decider of the future of the country, the 2023 general election must be conducted hitch free whether the enemies like it or not and therefore sensitive and non -sensitive election materials, INEC officials and properties must be guarded jealously against attacks, sabotage or any form of manipulations or malpractices.
They also vowed to deal decisively with anyone attempting to truncate the election process by arresting and promptly prosecuting all electoral offenders before, during and after the elections to serve as deterrent to other miscreants and hoodlums.
In the light of President Muhamadu Buhari’s reaffirmation of improved security in recent times, participants adopted that a more effective inter-agency collaboration and synergy through collective efforts, information sharing, and trust among security and law enforcement agencies be provided as an antidote to decimating and annihilating criminals causing troubles in the country.
The NSCDC CG, Dr. Abubakar Audi, therefore charged the conference to work closely with their counterparts in security operations and other national assignments like the coming 2023 general elections.
The conference provided other opportunities to review their performances in line with their mandates.
The Corps director of public relations, DCC Olusola Odumosu, said the 37 PROs of the corps were now rejigged and more motivated to deliver on their assigned duties.