- Public Relations expert, Yushau Shuaib has waded in on the recent verbal exchanges between Air Peace and the Kano Emirate
- Shuaib, the publisher of PR Nigeria said the spokespersons of both parties mismanaged the situation with their outbursts
- He also stated that strategic communication doesn’t seek publicity, but considers the dynamics of an environment, its audiences, their behaviours, and focuses on effective messaging
Shuaib, the author of a bestseller in public relations 'Award-Winning Crisis Communication Strategies,' noted that the back and forth between both parties were unnecessary and could have been avoided.
The controversy came to the limelight after a leaked memo by the Chief Protocol Officer to the Emir, Isa Bayero to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), seeking punitive actions against Air Peace Airline for missing their connecting flight.
Bayero said the Emir and his entourage were denied the opportunity of taking a connecting local flight from Lagos to Kano, after having initially created a situation that led to the delay of his international flight, on another Air Peace aircraft from Banjul to Lagos.
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On its part, Air Peace issued a rebuttal saying the flight Bayero complained about was already taxing along the runway.
The airline also issued another statement saying the flight from Banjul was not in any way connected to the Lagos-Kanom flight, adding that its final destination was actually in the Nigerian commercial capital.
Bayero who didn't budge issued another statement with an ultimatum for the airline to apologise to the revered monarch.
Shuaib noted that:
“The so-called leaked memo from the palace to the NCAA, which has attracted all the unnecessary bickering and unwarranted attacks, ought to have been handled more professionally and strategically from the outset of the situation.
“Traditional institutions deserve respect and aides of revered personages like Emirs need to be a lot more mindful of the statements they make on behalf of their principals, particularly the tone and language of communications that could ultimately become public documents, which can either enhance or tar reputations.
“On the other hand, Air Peace needs to be aware of the position it has attained as a respected national brand and not a regional enterprise that should yield to egocentric displays that could stoke unnecessary controversy. I am of the mind that it has grown to become a Nigerian business for Nigerians and not a parochial powerhouse that can engage in some form of chest-beating.
“Sometimes silence can be golden in strategic communication. Weighing a situation very carefully before venturing a statement is essential, rather than the haste for justification that can unnecessarily escalate a crisis.
“Spokespersons should realise that PR is not about issuing boisterous and confrontational releases but the creation of channels of mutual understanding, in a way that strengthens and further builds relationships.”
He further stated that the Emir of Kano, a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, had worked in the aviation sector as a spokesperson and a Flight Officer, where he earned respect as a customer-friendly, empathetic, and cultured official.
“An urbane and cosmopolitan personality, whose mother was a princess of Ilorin Emirate in Kwara state, Aminu had held top traditional titles in Kano, the most populous and heterogeneous city in Nigeria, before ascending to the throne of his forebears.
“With friends from different backgrounds and classes, the unassuming and humble Emir has consistently demonstrated great awareness of and sensitivity in dealing with people of sundry multicultural identities and religious beliefs, which have earned him tremendous respect for his capacity to engage with diversity in a positive manner.”
Emir of Kano vs Air Peace: AYCF calls for intervention by prominent Nigerians
Recall that the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) had earlier called on prominent Nigerians to intercede in the misunderstanding between Bayero and the management of Air Peace.
The plea was made on Sunday, February 27, in a statement issued by the national president of the group, Yerima Shettima.
Shetimma said that it is worrisome that a viable solution to the ongoing misunderstanding seems far away because elders in the country are yet to either pay attention to it or make moves in the interest of peace.