Award winning crisis communication expert and Executive Secretary of the Centre For Crisis Communication(CCC), Air Commodore Yusuf Anas(rtd), has urged the Governors of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to as a matter of priority include the Prisons Controllers in their states into their state security councils.
This, according to him, is necessary because the Nigerian Prison Service is also better placed in not only keeping Nigerians safe from crime and criminality, but also could provide very useful insights into causes of anti-social behavior in our society.
He also urged the management of the Nigerian Prison Service(NPS) to effectively deploy social media tools to manage public perception of the service.
Air Commodore Anas stated this at the ongoing workshop on Information Management for State Controllers and Command Public Relation Officers of the Nigerian Prison Service holding in Kaduna.
“I want to use this workshop to call on the Executive Governors of all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT to as a matter of priority include the Prisons Controllers in their states into their state security councils. This is necessary because the Nigerian Prisons Service are also better placed in not only keep Nigerians safe from crime and criminality, but also could provide very useful insights into causes of anti-social behavior in our society”, he said.
He said the workshop with the theme: “Application of Social Media in Contemporary Communication Strategy”, is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the target participants to use the instrumentality of the media – especially the social media- to communicate the activities of the Nigerian Prisons Service and project its image.
He said the Nigerian Prisons Service is a tireless and vigilant custodian of the nation’s reformatory judicial system, and believes the new media, if professionally managed and employed, could be a veritable tool in the hands of the various state commands to help sustain the positive public perception of the Service.
“In this digital age, the social media has come to stay as a handy tool for information managers given the wide range of possibilities it offers”, he said.
He noted that the social media tools have changed the landscape of information management and communication, stressing that with readily available software tools such as online discussion platforms and news aggregators, institutions such as the NPS can now disseminate, acquire and analyze information more efficiently and comprehensively.
He however cautioned that while the social media can prevent crisis from spiraling out of control, organizations cannot ignore its ability to aggravate an unfolding crisis situation, noting that social media can cause negative impact on the one hand, but can also bring about positive outcomes by facilitating and accelerating the speed communication, if properly utilized.
He posited that “our country Nigeria, like many other countries is currently assailed in several fronts by various kinds of crimes and criminality such as insurgency, kidnappings, armed banditry, cattle rustling, farmers-herdsmen clashes, pipeline vandalism, ritual killings, among others, and the Nigerian Prisons Service is constantly in the eye of the storm to keep offenders in safe custody before, during and after sentencing”.
He advised workshop participants that managing adverse information about the prisons demands a lot skill and use of effective on-line platforms such as social media tools to communicate information, and assured them that at the end of the exercise, they would be better equipped with hands-on capacity to leverage on the wide possibilities of social media for the upliftment of the Service.
“Our expectation and that of your Service at the end of this workshop is to see a more positive reflection of the Nigerian Prisons Service using the social media”, he said.