By Lola Seriki-Idahosa, Kaduna.. Tracereporters –The Kaduna State Peace Commission has called for the support of the media to assist it in achieving its mandate of peace building.
Speaking during a one-day training organised for 40 Kaduna State media practitioners on Conflicts Early Warning Early Response System (CEWERS) and conflicts sensitive reporting with the aim to enhance peace and stability at a higher level in Kaduna State on Tuesday, held at the polyhotel, saying that the media is a critical stakeholder in the quest for peace.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Kaduna State Peace Commission, Saleh Momale, in his opening address at the event in Kaduna, said the engagement will bring about a better level of corporative management of resources through reporting that is conflict sensitive.
The programme is meant to strengthening local and state level peace architectures for peace building and conflict prevention project supported by the United Nations Development Programme, UN Woman, United Nations Human Rights and Peace Building Fund.
Saleh Momale said “The media is very strategic in helping the commission achieve its mandate, because the media reports can either help in resolving the conflict or fuel it.
According to him, “the training which is in collaboration with the United Nations development programme will help security agencies and a wide range of stakeholders to manage all trades to peaceful coexistence in the state.
“We are happy that all the media practitioners we have, have been exchanging views and additional awareness in the engagement“.
His optimistic of a friendlier environment and working relationship between the media and the Kaduna State Peace Commission
He said, “So that we will have more positive reporting, conflict sensitive reporting and citizens increase utilisation that exists between kaduna peace commission and CSos in the state”, he added
He explained further that, Kaduna state has been challenged by insecurity including periodic ethno-religious conflict disputes between herders and farmers as well as high intensity of banditry in some parts of the state.
He said Kaduna peace commission will continue to work with various stakeholders in addressing the situation.
According to him, “We all know the importance of information and media reportage in providing accurate and reliable information to the citizens in assisting and mobilising creating the needed awareness in promoting peaceful and harmonious relationships “he emphasis
“We, therefore, want the media to not only help us in reporting our activities and enlightening the public on the need for peace, but also help us generate ideas on ways to go about meeting our mandates.”
He said the commission was established to promote peace, harmonious coexistence, conflict resolution and promote peace building.
He stressed that the commission needs the media to change the narrative about conflict in the state by gravitating towards reports that help in restoring and maintaining harmonious coexistence.
In her presentation, Rebecca Sako, Permanent commissioner at the Kaduna peace commission, gave an overview of Conflict Early Warning Early Response Systems (CEWERS) saying that the state is developing a strategic plan to strengthen peaceful relationships in some crisis areas in the state
She added that the training will help to strengthen media capacity and change their perspective to promote peace and security across the state.
She noted that the media had been reporting conflict situations in the state and as such, journalists are in a better position to contribute positively towards peace building in the state.
kaduna Zonal Director of National Broadcasting Corporations Jamilu Jega in his presentation on Conflict Resolution, Workings, Letters And Spirits Of the Nigerian Broadcasting Code, advised the media practitioners to always imbibe the guiding principle of balance of the broadcast code in other to promote peace, economic development Nigeria.
He advised Journalists to be mindful of what they report and to always adhere to the principle of balance and inclusiveness.
In his presentation, Samson Auta of the interfaith mediation centre, also the coordinator of Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP) program said the training seeks to reduce key drivers of violence.
While equipping the participants with skills of communication and how to manage any given situations.
Participants at the one-day training however advised the commission to assert its independence from the state to build the needed confidence in the people.
They also called on the commission to address the structural injustice that continues to divide the people.
The participants further called on the commission to consistently engage the media, religious and community leaders, politicians, and all other relevant stakeholders crucial in the peace building process, as that is the best way to get the people involved in the process of peace building.
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