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Katsina Govt Charges Media Practitioners On Objectivity As CDD Trains Journalists On Conflict Mitigation

"I am calling on the journalists to be objective in their reportage in order to promote peace and bring development through balance and objective reporting which is in line with the ethics."


Katsina, usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.
Katsina is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.

 

The Katsina State Government has charged media practitioners across the country to be objective in their reportage in line with the ethics of the pen profession.

The state Commissioner For Information, Culture, and Home Affairs, Hon. Bala Salisu Zango made the charge on Tuesday during a two-day capacity-building training organised for journalists operating in the state.

The Commissioner represented by the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Information Culture and Home Affairs, Musa Mahuta, commended the organisers of the training, announcing that twenty (20) LGAs are under bandits attacks with eight (8) of them remaining the most vulnerable.

“That is why the state government decided to come up with a community watch corps in order to curb the menace of banditry.

“I am calling on the journalists to be objective in their reportage in order to promote peace and bring development through balance and objective reporting which is in line with the ethics.

“We need to educate our people to know the dangers of providing information to bandits,” he added.

The training put together by the Centre For Democracy and Development (CDD) with the theme: ‘Promoting Dialogue, Peace Building, and Social Cohesion‘ through the media focused on the role of media in promoting community dialogue as an antidote to conflict resolution.

According to the Programme Manager of the Centre For Democracy and Development (CDD), Kolawole Ogunbiyi, the centre previously selected and trained at least 120 youths and women to improve their capacity to promote community dialogue and peace across 24 communities in four selected LGAs of Dan-Musa, Jibia, Batsari and Kankara where six communities have been selected in each of the council.

“We also conducted community perception and transitional justice. We also engaged traditional and religious leaders to set peace and dialogue on the transitional justice system. These are sets of the projects we have done so far from May to date, 2023.

“You can recall that we conducted a capacity-building training for journalists in May 2023 on conflict reporting.

“This second phase of the training focuses on promoting community dialogue as an antidote to conflicts in the affected LGAS as the implementation of the project progresses.

“The second phase of the CDD training for journalists in Katsina State is in continuation of the implementation of our project titled, ‘Conflict Mitigation and Community Reconciliation in Northwest Nigeria‘.

“The project is supported by The European Union (EU) and implemented by CDD, Mercy Corps, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“The pilot project aims to promote a local community-driven transitional justice system that promotes reconciliations and peace initiative, reducing and mitigating violence, and conflicts in the four local governments,” he explained.

On his part, the CDD Programme Officer in the State, Ado Sa’idu, spoke at length on the transitional justice system, stating that the CDD has been busy conducting a series of activities on a transitional justice system in the state aimed at building and promoting peace.

“We are already into the 9th month out of the 18-month project period. We hope that there will be an extension of this project due to its impact,” he stated.

The facilitator of the training and resource person, Dr Sale Momale, presented a paper on conflicts, actors, ecosystem, effects, and role of stakeholders in Katsina State where the causes and nature of conflicts were highlighted and discussed thoroughly.

According to Momale, conflict basically arises from relationships, communication, and interest.

In the meantime, Khadijah Hawaja Gambo, a resource person in the training also presented an elaborate paper on the Transitional Justice System, calling on media practitioners not to write or report on what they don’t know fully.

“You must have a deep understanding and history of what you are reporting so that you don’t escalate the conflict.

“For you writing on conflict, you must understand the history and interrogate all the 5Ws and H questions. You can never be objective without facts.

“Terrorism, banditry, and extremism can never survive without underlining factors and issues.

“Speak to the people concerned about their for instance anger, marginalisation, poverty, and other issues. Don’t report what’s known, but the hidden facts. That’s what the public is after.

“You must try as much as possible to not be biased by uncovering the unresolved issues and pains that lead to conflicts. As a journalist, you must use your pain to resolve conflict and bring back peace. Always be sensitive in your reporting. Report only the verified facts and be truthful to the facts,” she cautioned.

Participants eighteen (18) in their numbers shared the impact of the training they attended in the last two days, describing it as a great opportunity and window to restore peace and normalcy not only in the North-West region but also in the country at large.