Things to know about Isa Gusau

Things to know about Isa Gusau

Profiling Isa Gusau, Zulum’s reappointed media strategist

Malam Isa Gusau is potentially the only government spokesperson in Nigeria who combines undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Public Relations; a discipline that specializes in creative and strategic reputation management through planned and spontaneous publicity activities. 

Nigerian universities do not offer undergraduate programmes in Public Relations as a specialized area, but offer such courses in Mass Communication which broadly touches on multiple areas rather than graduate specialization available in the United Kingdom  and other developed countries. 

Gusau holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations, Media and Advertising with First Class Honours from Middlesex University in London, United Kingdom.

He also holds a Masters Degree (MA) in Public Relations and Media with the highest classification of distinction from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Unlike Nigerian universities which only classify graduate degrees, UK universities classify masters degrees starting with ‘Pass’,  ‘Merit’ and ‘Distinction’. 

Gusau holds another Masters Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial and Labour Relations from the University of Maiduguri. 

He also holds OND and HND in Mass Communication from Kaduna Polytechnic and remains one of the most outstanding graduates of the department.

 Gusau also holds certificates from campus-based courses on Leadership and Persuasive Communication at Harvard University’s Division of Continuing Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.

He holds another certificate from campus-based programme on Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education in Cambridge, UK; and another on Reputation Branding, Media Relations and Political Campaigns and Communication from Thompson Reuters in New York, United States. 

He had, at different times, undertaken intensive online certificated courses organised by Harvard University on Communication Strategies and Crisis Communication.

Gusau also attended dozens of other media relations, communication and journalism courses within and outside Nigeria.

He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, UK; the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; the Public Relations and Communications Association, PRCA, UK; the International Public Relations Association, UK and the African Public Relations Association.

Gusau has attended several conferences, summits and bilateral meetings across 18 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa as for purposes of media relations for government delegation, for professional networking, trainings and journalistic reporting. 

He had, at different times, visited 16 states across the United States for similar purposes.

Gusau also practised as a journalist for years before moving into PR.

At the Daily Trust, Gusau was the first to win the Board Chairman’s Star Award and cash prize for integrity in the journalists’ category. 

He was also a recipient of the newspaper's Editor-in- Chief’s letter of commendation and cash reward for integrity. 

He also received series of commendations from the the company's Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for prudence, transparency, accountability and productive management of regional offices in the Niger Delta and the North East, Nigeria. 

Gusau also received performance-based incentives and accelerated promotions.

Gusau resigned from Daily Trust in March 2012, the same week he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Editor, to venture into public relations activities following his appointment by the then Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima as Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

Gusau served as media strategist to Governor Kashim Shettima from March 2012 to May 2019 (throughout the two tenures) during which he did an outstanding job. 

After the 2019 governorship election in Borno State, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, in June 2019, appointed Gusau as his media strategist; a position he held until May 2023 when Zulum terminated all political appointments ahead of his second term. 

Now in his second term, Governor Zulum has just reappointed Gusau as his media strategist with effect from June 2023. 

Gusau has, since 2012, been mentoring more than 300 Borno youths on aspects of Public Relations using the social media. He organises workshops at which he personally trains and evaluates participants and has also engaged services of academic and professional institutions to train the youths within and outside Borno State. 

Malam Isa Gusau is a retired football player and coach who owned a football team in Maiduguri with dozens of youths. 

Gusau plays able tennis and was a track runner in 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 meters relay. He holds medals from secondary school games. 

Gusau is a reader and prolific writer who always argues that “no single write-up is perfect”, hence the need for second eye on every writeup because of which he often subjects his own writeups to corrections by those he teaches and mentors. 

Gusau has memorized many portions of the Qur’an and he is happily married with children.

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