The senior special assistant to Kaduna State Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan, has narrated how the administration is effectively managing information for a better state.
Aruwan said that the communication strategy of the state government has centred on equality of opportunity, the sacrifices required for change.
He noted that the present adminstration took off from the commitments outlined in the state government’s restoration programme, which promised to focus on human capital development through education and health, reform governance, promote investments and jobs, and to reform land administration.
Delivering his lecture during the ‘Professional Talk’ of the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Aruwan explained that after 16 years of rule by one party, the 2015 election of the APC government in the state meant that there will be a different style and orientation to governance.
He noted that the information management job is being done in a climate where certain persons have become accustomed to blackmail, demonisation and abuse of media power for divisive reasons.
Aruwan, said the el-Rufai’s led administration has brought reforms in education, land administration, health, among other sectors which have started yielding results.
Aruwan said, “I am grateful to the Kaduna State chapter of the NIPR for the invitation to speak at this occasion. I really don’t know what to say or share with you in view of your status as seasoned PR professionals, I am wondering how my story will shape our discourse, but I am optimistic, you will find my story valuable and appreciate our struggle for a better Kaduna State.
“For a life time, I will be grateful to my boss, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of our beloved state of Kaduna, who trusts me with this sensitive and onerous responsibility as a young man.
“It is a privilege I don’t take lightly. It offers one the platform to learn and broaden my horizon added with my background as a professional journalist, who has worked as a reporter and became bureau chief of two national dailies (LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group and Blueprint Newspapers Limited) before I was released on leave of absence in 2014 to serve as spokesperson.
“Secondly, since 2015, a thought has been ringing in mind and it’s about, what prompted my boss to appoint me spokesperson in view of the huge challenges at that time. Whatever it is, it is clear I was chosen out of trust and a desire to mentor young minds as public servants. Since I am yet to get the answer, I have considered myself an ‘Accidental Spokesperson’ and do not accuse me of plagiarism and the title of my submission here is The Story of An Accidental Spokesperson.”
According to him: “I will start this way. I was born, raised, schooled and I’ve worked in Kaduna as a journalist. I could boast of knowing our state and its history until I resumed work at Sir Kashim Ibrahim (Government House) and I suddenly realised that I knew nothing in view of the complexities and dynamism of our state and beyond.
“To effectively understand the terrain and to live up to expectation, I have tried to serve and learn, and it is rewarding. The job is dotted with challenges. Its primary function is communicating with and engaging the public on government policy. The job is being done in a climate where certain persons have become accustomed to blackmail, demonisation and abuse of media power for divisive reasons.
“After a successful outing as spokesperson of the Nasir El-Rufai Campaign Organisation, I received my baptism of fire as a public servant on my first day as official spokesperson of the Governor and Government of Kaduna State.
On the 29th May 2015 at the inauguration and swearing-in ceremony held at Murtala Muhammad Square, I got messages from journalists asking for our reaction to the killing of five persons in faraway Sanga local government area.
“About one hour into the ceremony, there was an unruly behaviour of a certain group of youths towards some guests, which I condemned instantly in a terse statement. After the swearing-in ceremony, on our way to the Government House, I got calls and messages from another set of journalists asking for our reaction on the killing of about four persons in Birnin Gwari. As you can see, one was greeted with these challenges on the first day of the job.”