Idris: The Strategic Communicator @58

Idris: The Strategic Communicator @58

When he was appointed as the minister of Information and National Orientation in August 2023 by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Hon. Mohammed Idris vowed never to lie for the federal government. His pledge took many Nigerians by storm, excluding yours sincerely, with some of them dismissing his vow as an impossible feat. Many Nigerians have come to associate the Information ministry as the official propaganda machine of the government. Before his appointment, previous ministers in charge of information were mostly seen as chief peddlers of the government’s fake news.

Considering the footprints of his predecessor, not many gave the Minister a chance. Even as the former General Secretary of the Newspaper Proprietor Association of Nigeria (NPAN), some felt it was just a matter of time before the cookies would come falling apart. Nearly nine months after his appointment, the man who swore never to tell lies for the government is still staying the course. Less than four weeks to the one-year anniversary of the Tinubu-led administration, the public relations expert and media owner has been engaged in a strategic communication model that is aimed at making citizens understand the dynamics behind policies of the government.


Upsetting times

The Tinubu government inherited immobilizing frustration caused by insecurity and economic downturn that had turned Nigeria into one of the most terrorised nations in the world and a Leader in Global Poverty during the Muhammadu Buhari presidency. Not only was insecurity grinding the country as various parts were turned into killing fields, biting economic hardship was making mincemeat of citizens whose hope had turned forlorn.

Though the promise of renewed hope by the Tinubu Presidency remains in the realm of optimism, getting citizens to embrace the promise of a new era remains a huge challenge as millions of Nigerians are swimming against the tide of gushing poverty.  Having been victims of famished expectation as experienced under the immediate past government of Buhari, Nigerians are gradually accepting the reality that yesterday would always be better than today. In the authenticity of the contemporary worsening situation of Nigeria that is described by Shakespeare’s “All cheerless, dark and deadly,” some citizens are losing hope that the present-day trials may not go away soon.


Yesterday’s fear

No doubt, Idris’ choice as the minister of information is unquestionably anchored in the belief that professionals can do far better than noisemakers that are more influenced by mundane politics. During the days of Alhaji Lai Mohammed as the information minister, the ministry, with its agencies, was reduced into a bullhorn of falsehood that turned the public information system into chaos.

Locating his mandates within the prospects of creating enabling platforms for information dissemination to the public, Ho. Idris, more than any of his predecessors, has created new channels and approaches to robust public engagements with critical stakeholders within and beyond the media space. As head of the federal government’s information system, the consummate public relations expert has declined being a canary bird of untruth as some of his predecessors, but has continued to engage critical segments of the Nigerian society for collaboration.

Having demonstrated creditable leadership skills as shown in the management of his private companies before venturing into politics, Idris’ performance has exposed him as one of the leading lights of the Tinubu administration. A tested professional with a cutting-edge knowledge in the management of information, the Minister’s new vision in information management action has helped him meander through stormy national discourses for engagement.


Built for now

The man endowed with an uncommon calm spirit amidst storms of life has used his experience that is garnered over several decades to review our nation’s public information system for good. Exuding hope and talking less than his predecessors, the new man in charge of the nation’s information dissemination is endowed with a quiet mien, portraying his deep intellectual prowess.

The Minister, who is also the ‘Kakakin Nupe’ never carries any airs, as he is convinced that salvaging the country is a task for all. The Nupe traditional title holder came to the floodlights prepared and is among the best in his career. Renowned for his proficiency and skills founded in global best practice, the media entrepreneur and PR expert deploys inspiring commitment in re-aligning the management of public information.

Born on May 2, 1966, after his primary and secondary school in Kontagora and Rijau, Niger State, Hon Idris bagged a degree in English at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto in 1987. He would later acquire a masters degree at the Bayero University Kano where he taught Communications Skills from 1989-1991. He was also an English and Communication Skills lecturer at the Federal College of Education (FCE), Katsina from 1989 to 1994. His footprints in the field of public relations, as shown by many appointments, have led to reap many laurels in advancing PR practice in Nigeria. These appointments include: the Chairman, Security Committee of the World Press Congress in Abuja; June, 2018; Member, Sponsorship and Finance Committee, World Press Congress to hold in Abuja; June, 2018; Recipient and NIPR Presidential Special Recognition Award, 2014, among many others.

As the ‘Kakakin Nupe’ turned 58 on Thursday, may his dream for an effective information dissemination continue to inspire confidence among citizens. Chairman, as some of us still call you, may what you do today continue to inspire deep faith among citizens in the capacity and willingness of our country’s leadership to forestall late Dele Giwa’s prognosis of Nigeria being “God’s creation in the impossibility”.

Happy belated birthday wishes to the Minister who has thrown away the megaphone of falsehood for strategic public engagement in the interest of the common good.



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.