‘Tinubu’s Spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale Not Qualified’

The special adviser to President Bola Tinubu on media and publicity, Ajuri Ngelale is not qualified for the position he is currently occupying according to some stakeholders.

The newly elected governing council members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) who bared their minds on the matter said being a good writer, broadcaster or journalist is not enough to occupy the exalted position of the President’s mouthpiece.

The council members disclosed that Ngelale is not a member of the NIPR and the law establishing the institute makes it a criminal offence for any individual to practice public relations without the necessary certification and licensing.

They maintained that Tinubu’s spokesperson does not have the basic knowledge and requisite training on PR hence he is not fit to be in the position.

According to the council members, while the journalism pedigree, antecedents, and credentials of Ngelale as Mr. President’s spokesman is not in doubt, he is legally not qualified for the current job he is doing at the Presidency because he is not a member of the NIPR.

“We have checked our records and membership register and we could not find Ajuri Ngelale in the list. One can be a good writer, broadcaster or journalist but there are set parameters of knowledge a communicator needs to acquire including qualification before he/she can practice Public Relations in Nigeria.

“The law establishing NIPR provides laid-down rules about appointing spokespersons which also makes it a criminal offence for anybody to practice Public Relations by whatever name without certification by the Institute. In fact the NIPR act stipulates punishment for illegal practice including imprisonment, fine, or both,” said one of the governing council members who spoke to PRNigeria in confidence.

Since assuming office as the spokesperson to President Tinubu, Ngelale has committed some blunders as touching the activities of the President.

First was the claim that the United Arab Emirates had lifted the visa ban on Nigerians after a bilateral meeting between President Tinubu and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and most recently the claim that President Tinubu was the first African leader to ring the bell at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ).

Both claims by Ngelale turned out to be false.

In the wake of such high-level goofs, the NIPR Governing Council is understood to be compiling a list of uncertified spokespersons, appointed recently to public office contrary to the regulations.

The newly elected council under the leadership of Dr. Ike Neliaku as the President has vowed to intensify its advocacy that only professionally trained and practicing PR experts should be saddled with the job of spokespersons, especially for government and public officials.

Naija News reports that before assuming office as the spokesperson of President Tinubu in July 2023, Ngelale had worked as a journalist with AIT and Channels Television.

He also previously served as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Muhammadu Buhari and was the Assistant Principal Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) for the 2023 elections.

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