Although media relations activities have burgeoned, involving the paper press, online publications,
television and bloggers, it is only a small part of the job now. Press offices have been swallowed up by
communications departments that deal with investor relations, analysts, shareholders, regulators and
government. All are the guardians of that most precious, and difficult to measure, of assets - corporate
reputation. Global corporations will also talk constantly with the EU and other international
organisations. And at consumer-facing companies, PRs might well be 'content generators', engaging
customers on Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter
In public relations, spin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing an interpretation of an
event or campaign to persuade public opinion in favor or against a certain organization or public
figure. While traditional public relations may also rely on creative presentation of the facts, "spin"
often implies disingenuous, deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.
Politicians are often accused by their opponents of claiming to be honest and seek the truth while using
spin tactics to manipulate public opinion. Because of the frequent association between spin and press
conferences (especially government press conferences), the room in which these take place is
sometimes described as a spin room. A group of people who develop spin may be referred to as "spin
doctors" who engage in "spin doctoring" for the person or group that hired them
Boko haram
The story is no longer new. Jama’atul Alhul Sunnah Lidda’watiwal jihad also known as Boko Haram,
a dangerous Islamic sect is termed the principal perpetrator of these gruesome, ill acts. At first, their
demands were not clear. All what was known was a group of religious fundamentalists who
promulgated their beliefs even though they were considered too extreme by many Nigerians.
But they were bent on their mission of Islamizing the country via the implementation of Sharia law
across the country. In essence, they chose to start from their immediate environments in Borno and
Yobe states.
And to make real their pursuits, they consciously arrogated themselves a name that defines their
philosophy: Jama’atul Alhul Sunnah Lidda’wati wal jihad, meaning ―people committed to the
propagation of the prophet’s teachings and jihad‖. Boko Haram began to launch a series of onslaughts
against the state but that did not define the reasons for their attacks whether it was to avenge the
death of their former leader, Yusuf or that the government institutions were fundamentally ―haram‖.
In the aftermath, the attacks permeated as Boko Haram carried out a number of suicide bombings and
assassinations from Maiduguri to Abuja, and staged an ambitious prison-break in Bauchi, freeing more
than seven hundred inmates in 2010. In November 2011, the group staged its most deadly attacks so
far in Maiduguri as well as Yobe’s Damaturu and Potiskum, targeting churches, mosques, banks, and
police stations. At least 150 people were reported killed. November’s 2011’s violence garnered more
international attention for the group, with condemnations from the head of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference, the Pope, the UN Security Council, and the UN secretary general. Nigeria, along
with the whole world, has been holding its breath since mid-April, when 276 girls were kidnapped
from Chibok town in Borno State. Officially, 219 still remain in captivity.
Politically, it started as a sectional insurgency. First, in the North East, then in the North West and
North Central and now in the Federal Capital. This group seems to have its sponsors in high places.
They think if the country disintegrates, they will get away with what they stole because the separate
units that have been integrated will have no time to caution them about what they stole. The problem
started with the manipulation of the differences between secularism in Islam arising from the
incompetence of governments since the second republic in Nigeria.
Role of Levick
According to Lanny Davis, an executive vice president at Levick who is also a columnist for The Hill,
said Jonathan is committed to the rescue effort. , the priority for President Jonathan beyond any is
finding and bringing home the girls,‖ Davis said. ―There’s got to be a way to amplify what he’s saying
and doing to find these girls because over here in America, we’re not hearing much about his effort.‖
Levick will be also working to publicize ―President Goodluck Jonathan Administration’s past, present
and future priority to foster transparency, democracy and the rule of law throughout Nigeria,‖
according to contract documents.
That’s where Genser, armed with impressive human rights bona fides, comes in. His client list
includes the Burmese pro-democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, retired South African Archbishop
Desmond Tutu and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Genser also began representing human rights
activist Liu Xiaobo, currently imprisoned in China, months before he won the Nobel Peace Prize in
2010. In terms of advancing human rights, however, the real work has to be done working with
governments that are well meaning but lack the capacity — or as much capacity as they might like —
and want to do the right thing,‖ he said.
Levick will be paid $75,000 per month for its work, in addition to the extra costs of advertisements,
video production and website development, and is working for the government through a state-owned
media agency. If members of the firm travel to Nigeria, there will be an additional estimated cost of
$22,500 per person. A subcontract with Perseus Strategies is valued at $25,000 per month, bringing
the monthly retainer to a total of $100,000.
By K Street standards, the $1.2 million Nigeria contract is a fairly sizable one, though other firms have
earned more from Middle Eastern countries. For example, The Glover Park Group has a contract with
Egypt valued at $250,000 per month.
What has been done so far?
On June 26, a popular and one of the most prominent U.S. newspapers, The Washigton Post, published
an article by President Goodluck Jonathan entitled ―Nothing is more important than bringing home
Nigeria’s missing girls‖. In it, he explains his previous silence on the ongoing rescue operations,
commiserates with the families of the abducted girls.
In his Washington Post article, President Goodluck Jonathan notes that, in order to defeat the Boko
Haram menace, Nigerians need to overcome certain ―political, religious and ethnic cleavages‖ and to
establish ―greater understanding and outreach between Muslims and Christians.‖
Although terrorism ―knows no borders,‖ the international collaboration between Nigeria, Benin,
Cameroon, Chad, Niger, the United Kingdom and the United States will most likely result in
―something positive,‖ such as the safe return of the remaining Chibok girls. Jonathan addresses his
―partisan‖ critics who interpreted his silence as a sign of ―inaction or even weakness‖:
―I have had to remain quiet about the continuing efforts by Nigeria’s military, police and investigators
… to avoid compromising the details of our investigation.‖
He then assures the potential readers that the Nigerian government, Nigeria’s security and intelligence
services ―have spared no resources, have not stopped and will not stop until the girls are returned
home and the thugs who took them are brought to justice‖ and that on his orders, military forces have
―aggressively sought these killers in the forests of northern Borno state‖.
He commiserated with the families of the missing children, saying as a parent, he knows ―know how
awfully this must hurt‖ and declaring ―finding and rescuing‖ the girls is the number one point in his
agenda. In September, Jonathan says, he will urge the United Nations’ General Assembly to establish
a system for sharing intelligence and, if necessary, Special Forces and law enforcement to confront
terrorism wherever it occurs.
The sophistication of Boko Haram’s operations indicates that the group may enjoy support from some
Nigerian government officials. Moreover, it is likely to have links to international terrorist
organi-sations like the Somalian al-Shabab or -al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Boko Haram may
well get support from outside Nigeria. Boko Haram is a menace that deserves attention not only from
Nigeria’s government, but also from the Economic Community of West African States, the African
Union and the entire international community.
The government of Nigeria must move beyond the blunt use of lethal force. Sending tanks into the
streets and declaring a state of emergency, as President Jonathan Goodluck did after the Christmas
attacks, may appease an angry public, but it is not an effective counterterrorism policy. Nigeria needs a
better system of governance. Probity and accountability must become the norm, and the government
must tackle social issues of education, health, employment and housing. Doing so is most urgent in the
country’s north. Unless there is an accelerated development programme for Nigeria’s deprived areas,
sects, tribes and clans will remain the driving forces of Nigerian politics – and Boko Haram is merely
the most destructive expression of that trend.
Roberts, Alasdair S. (2005). "Spin Control and Freedom of Information: Lessons for the United
Kingdom from Canada". Public Administration