From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)and Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun the training of about 150 journalists in the North Central of Nigeria on the need for conflict sensitive reporting ahead of 2019 elections to ensure peace before, during and after election.
The organized workshop titled “:Capacity Building Workshop for Media Groups on Conflict Sensitive Reportage Ahead of the 2019 General Election in Nigeria” was aimed at how to report in a conflict sensitive manner.
Also to create an enabling environment for media practitioners to cover elections without hindrance, to report without causing harm, to create networking opportunity for the media as well as to use the opportunity to enhanced or foster peace in Nigeria by looking out abuse of power by the media.
The three day capacity training workshop was organized in the North Central state held at Crest hotel in Jos consisted of selected journalists from Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi Abuja Niger and Kwara States respectively.
The UNDP representative, Mr Mathew Alawo in his welcome remarks explained the importance of the training for the media practitioners in the country to be guided on how to report a conflict situation without causing harm, or not to ignite crisis in the society.
Alawo emphasized the need for peace and peaceful coexistence in the country for a sustainable meaningful development could be achieved in our society hence the need for reporting in a conflict sensitive manner.
The Plateau state Governor, Mr Simon Bako Lalong who was represented by the Director General, Research and Documentation, Prof. John Wadil said that the workshop is coming at the right time.
He added that the media should be above board in their reportage and uphold values and reawakening of behavior and attitude in Nigeria while the politicians are to operate with open values of politics hence reporting good or bad can make or marred elections.
Lalong charged on the media to be objective, honest, balance in their reportage and to be sensitive of the people by inculcating proper values of the election hence the need for peace, unity and sanity in its operations while he condemned the victimization of the press as not in the interest of the society.
The three facilitators, Mr Austin Onuoha, Mr Emmanuel Mammam and Mrs Oluwatoyin Oluwade spoke extensively on the importance of the media, its challenges, anticipations and its prospects on the topic under discussion in which the participants were well informed on the subject matter.