Adesina and othersIt is one day that will remain fresh for long in the mind of Mr. Femi Adesina, President, Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited.

On Thursday, January 9, Adesina was hosted to a magnificent reception by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Lagos State chapter, to celebrate his recent elevation. He was honoured alongside the new President/Chairman, Governing Council of NIPR, Dr. Rotimi Oladele. The NIPR was established in 1963 and chartered by Decree 16 of 1990, now an Act of Parliament.

The reception, chaired by former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) and Institute of Directors (IoD), Mr. Femi Ekundayo, was held at the Restaurant and Pool Side of White House Hotels and Conference Centre, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

The event attracted former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele; Special Assistant to President Jonathan on Public Relations, Dr. Olusanya Awosan; Senior Special Adviser to Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama; Head of Corporate Affairs, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) and Sir Ralph Anyacho, who represented the Registrar/CEO of the council, Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi.

The Sun Publishing Limited, Publishers of The Sun titles and Soccer Star, was also generously represented at the event. The team, led by the new MD, included the Managing Director, The Sun Publishing Limited, Ghana, Mr. Shola Oshunkeye; General Editors of The Sun in Nigeria – Mr. Steve Nwosu and Mrs. Funke Egbemode; Editor, Sunday Sun, Alhaji Abdulfatah Oladeinde; General Manager, Corporate Services, Mrs. Neta Nwosu and Business Development Manager, Mr. Demola Abioye.

In his opening remarks, chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ekundayo, congratulated Adesina and Oladele on their promotion and election respectively and prayed that God would guide them to success in their new assignments.

He noted: “I have listened to the President of the United States and some other countries and the difference is clear. For the presidency of Nigeria, let us have people who have cut their teeth through the process of NIPR. This will show distinction in the way the president addresses his people.”

The NIPR, according to Ekundayo, has to do with reputation, commitment, integrity, foresight, strategy, caring for the people and the community, being orderly and articulate, charisma and leadership traits such as strategic leadership, operation leadership and people leadership. He warned that anybody found deficient in these qualities should not be allowed to lead the institute or the country.

Welcoming dignitaries to the reception, chairman, NIPR, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Joseph Okonma, stated that the purpose of the reception was to celebrate the recent elevation of Adesina as the new Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspapers and the election of Dr. Oladele, a Fellow of NIPR, as the 13th President/Chairman, Governing Council of the institute.

“Mr. Adesina has unarguably forged one of the strongest strategic partnerships with our institute. The NIPR and NGE are poised to transform Nigeria. I am firmly convinced that these gentlemen we are honouring today have all it takes to move their organisations to new heights. This attendance, in spite of the short notice, bears eloquent testimony to the relevance and immense contributions of these personalities, to the body of reputation management in Nigeria.

“To the honourees and their immediate families, we say congratulations. It is my prayer that the good Lord will prosper the works of your hands, sustain you, and bless you indeed with good health, and grant your heart desires,” Okonma said.

He solicited the support of all and sundry to the building of a multi-purpose and functional secretariat for NIPR in Lagos State before the end of the year.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the former Minister of Information, Chief Akinyele; General Editor of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Steve Nwosu; chairman, NIPR, Oyo State chapter, Mrs. Yetunde Alagbe; a Fellow of NIPR, Mrs. Dame Nancy Oghenekaro; Head of Corporate Affairs, APCON, Sir Anyacho and Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Relations, Dr. Awosan.

Chief Akinyele commended Adesina for his humility, hard work and diligence. While enjoining him to continue on the right path, he lauded his wife, Mrs. Nike Adesina, for the support she has been giving to her husband. He said: “Behind every successful man, there is a woman. You are a great woman behind this great son of Nigeria.”

He also challenged Oladele to leverage on his fantastic credentials to transform the NIPR and restore its lost glory. Akinyele, ex-president of the institute told the new president: “When we shall be celebrating your first anniversary in office, I want to hear your achievements.”

Mr. Steve Nwosu, in his goodwill message, advocated the need to allow round pegs in round holes in all the appointments in the country, adding that a situation whereby a quack was appointed to manage an office at the expense of professionals should become a thing of the past for the country to progress.

He appreciated NIPR for the reception and said: “Those of us here follow in Adesina’s footsteps. We look up to him all the time. About three or four of us on this table have shared one of the jobs he left behind as he was going up and we are still struggling with it. It is one of the things he does. He does it and many other things and he’s coping. The Lord that has given him the strength will continue to strengthen him. He is in the Gideons International. He is a pastor. He goes to church. He comes to the office. He is my president in the Nigeria Guild of Editors. He has been giving lectures here and there. He is always smiling. I don’t know how he does it.”

© Seye Ojo & Lukman Olabiyi

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