INFORMATION AND STRATEGIES
When we consider that communication as simply the act of transferring information from one place, person or group to another, one may think that it should be something very simple for all.
But in the real sense, the art of transmitting message from sender to recipient is actually a very complex as it can be affected by a huge range of things like emotions, the cultural situation, the medium used to communicate, and even our location. This is why students of communication are always thought that it is extremely hard to achieve good communication skills considered to be desirable, accurate, effective and unambiguous.
The development in Nigeria few weeks to the 2023 general elections when the Central Bank pushed through a policy to redesign the naira along with the fuel scarcity across the country will leave many to wonder whether the government has any compassion for the people or has lost touch with reality. With the CBN maintaining hard-line position that the old currencies must be returned with no extension of deadline, some state governments went to the Supreme Court to obtain an injunction. While they got the injunction, President Muhammadu Buhari who was probably misadvised went on to announce that only N200 should be allowed to remain in circulation for few more days with N500 and N1000 no more accepted. The confusion created monumental crisis with riots breaking out in some places and reports of deaths due to hardship. When the Supreme Court eventually ruled against the CBN that all the currencies should return to circulation, it took about 10 days for it to comply while the resulting cash crunch brought the economy to its knees.
Those managing government communication will want people to believe that it is not easy and straight forward as it requires taking approvals from different layers of authorities, but to what extend do they weight the consequences of delays and misinformation?
No matter how good a government may be, in as much as its actions are not effectively communicated, there is bound to be misunderstanding. This could explain why in the US, White House press secretary interacts with the media and the press corps on a daily basis with regard to the president, senior aides and executives, as well as government policies. This is what the Tinubu government must adopt.
Nigeria is not a stranger to bad governments that were known for misinformation, but the incoming government must learn and depart from this path, by assembling a very effective communication team with people that are naturally kind, people with passion for culture and sense of history.
Those that must be speaking for the incoming president and the country must be people that have compassion, people that that know the value and care for human beings. They must be people that are conscious of the place of Blackman in history for the African dream which Nigeria has suppressed to finally come to reality.
When speaking for the President or the country, it must be with humility, clarity, grace, hope and confidence to inspire all Nigerians and in extension Africans on the truth and our heritage that it’s a new dawn to fulfill destiny.
Segun Adeleye is the President/CEO, World Stage Limited; Creator, OELA Music; Author of ‘So Long Too Long Nigeria’ and Founder/Chairman, Segun Adeleye Foundation for Good Leadership in Africa (SAFFGLIA).