From Uche Uche, Damaturu
The Nigeria Union of Journalists in Yobe State has promised to partner with the International Committee of the Red Cross in the sharing and dissemination of information as it affects the activities of the committee in humanitarian services in the state in particular and the country at large.
Chairman of NUJ in the State, comrade Yusuf Isa, made the pledge in a vote of thanks after a one- day media orientation workshop organized by the ICRC in collaboration with the NUJ, which took place at the Summit Conference Hotel in Damaturu the state capital.
Speaking during the occasion, Kidel Dimka, the Communication Officer of ICRC in Yobe State stated that the workshop was organized to acquaint members of the media on the activities of the committee and to listen to and answer questions on some possible comments, rumours and allegations being made by the public on the activities of the Red Cross in relation to its humanitarian services especially during the ongoing humanitarian crises in the northeast.
Some have insinuated that, among other allegations, that the Red Cross is involved in using its vehicles in transporting arms and weaponry to Boko Haram insurgents, but which she described as baseless lie which contradicts one of the seven principles and fundamental objectives of the Red Cross which is neutrality in conflict.
“We cannot do that and still be left by the government to continue to operate in the country and, contrary to what people say that our vehicles passes checkpoints without being searched, we are being searched like others and the authority have not found us wanting,” she stated.
“The work of ICRC today, among other things, focuses mostly on providing assistance that saves lives and restores dignity of victims of armed conflict or armed violence and restoring family links broken by the conflict, the deliverance of humanitarian assistance and finding local solutions to humanitarian problems,” She added.
She urged journalists to partner with the Red Cross especially in the areas of information sharing and dissemination to help the public understand and appreciate the work of the Red Cross so as to partners also with it to make its work in the state and the communities lighter for more benefit to the people.