Ajuri Ngelale’s One Gaffe Too Many, Not Our Member, NIPR Blows Hot
Several members of the newly elected National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) governing council have expressed their disapproval of the recent string of mistakes made by Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
As reported by PrNigeria, these council members assert that Ngelale string of gaffes clearly shows he lacks certification from the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and, therefore, does not meet the qualifications for his current role.
The NIPR, governed by strict regulations, deems it a criminal offense for individuals to practice public relations without the necessary certification and licensing. According to council members, Ngelale, due to his lack of essential PR knowledge and training, does not possess the necessary qualifications for his high-ranking position within the Tinubu Presidency.
“Our records and membership register do not include Ajuri Ngelale. While one can excel in writing, broadcasting, or journalism, there are specific qualifications and knowledge requirements that a communicator must meet before practicing Public Relations in Nigeria,” stated one of the council members, quoting the NIPR Act, which outlines legal consequences for illegal PR practice, including imprisonment and fines.
This revelation follows a series of public blunders by Ngelale, most notably his erroneous claims that President Tinubu was the first African leader to ring the bell at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) during a U.S. visit. Ngelale similarly erred in suggesting that the United Arab Emirates had lifted its visa ban on Nigerians following a bilateral meeting between President Tinubu and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Subsequently, the Presidency acknowledged these mistakes, as previous African leaders, including Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania, had rung the NASDAQ bell before President Tinubu.
PRNigeria reports that the NIPR Governing Council is compiling a list of uncertified spokespersons recently appointed to public office, contrary to regulations. The newly elected council, led by Dr. Ike Neliaku as President, is determined to advocate for professionally trained and practicing PR experts to occupy spokesperson roles, particularly in government and public offices.
While acknowledging Mr. President’s spokesperson’s journalism background and credentials, the NIPR maintains that he lacks the legal qualifications for his current position. President Tinubu appointed Ngelale in July, selecting him from his previous role as an aide to former President Muhammadu Buhari, where he served as Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs.