NIPR Stakeholders Claim Tinubu’s Spokesman Ajuri Ngelale, Is Not Qualified

Ajuri Ngelale
Some stakeholders believe that Ajuri Ngelale, President Bola Tinubu’s special adviser on media and publicity, is not qualified for the position he now occupies.
Being an excellent writer, broadcaster, or journalist is not enough to hold the lofty position of the President’s mouthpiece, according to the recently elected members of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations’ (NIPR) governing council who spoke candidly about the issue.
The council members revealed that Ngelale is not a member of the NIPR and that it is against the law for anybody to do 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, led by Dr. Ike Neliaku as president, has vowed to further up its support for the idea that only people with formal training in public relations (PR) should hold positions as spokespersons, particularly for members of the government and other prominent figures.
Ngelale had previously worked as a journalist for AIT and Channels Television before taking over as President Tinubu’s spokesman in July 2023.
Additionally, he formerly worked for former President Muhammadu Buhari as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs and was the Assistant Principal Spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) for the elections of 2023.
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