By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Leaders and Head of States in African countries have been urged to initiate financial bonds to fight the ravaging COVID-19 in the continent.
Stakeholders at the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) made the call during an online summit held on Saturday April 4, 2020.
They also implored journalists to shun the dissemination of fake news and other sensitive editorial materials that is against the interest of nation building.
The President and Executive Director of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi in a release made available to journalists in Lagos, identified speakers at the summit, themed Migration and Containment of COVID 19, to include the National Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Immigration Service, Sunday James, a Deputy Controller of Immigration, the National Spokesman of Malawi Police Authority, Senior Superintendent James Kadadzera, Zonal Commandant of National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Lagos, Dan Atokolo, and Jorge Garlindo, the Public Information Officer of International Organization for Migration (IOM), Nigeria.
Abayomi said the bonds were part of the resolutions of the stakeholders at the summit.
He explained that if considered, it would provide financial leverage to especially the poor nations on the continent to contain the deadly disease.
“We want the African leaders starting from the West Africa to first initiate Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bond and at the level of the African Union (AU) to also consider AU bond so that many nations can access the needed funds. This is no time for rhetorics, this risk is high and everyone is a likely victim.
“We fully align ourselves with the position of the National Public Relations Officer of the NIS, DCI Sunday James, that citizens sensitization on movements from Covid-19 vulnerable countries and locally is also very key at this moment.
“This is a trying time for the global community no one single being is free from the threat, we are all vulnerable as human beings. Journalists are not isolated, it is a common enemy that can be eliminated by time, resources, expertise, full adherence to international best practices.
JIFORM wants Africa nations to urgently put in place realistic food distribution chains where lockdown are effected to assist citizens cope with the situation.
“We support the call for medical research and discoveries whether written or tested and certified vaccines to be shared among nations at this moment to be domesticated as solutions in countries according to the dictates of their environments.
“The developed nations, instead of the usual war against especially irregular migrants, they should be allowed and assisted to regularize their status, as provided for in the international law. Nigeria has shown the way forward through e-migrant registration anchored by the NIS.
“We should discourage the circulation of fake news and other sensitive editorial materials not in the interest of nation building. We must remember among other things that we are called to genuinely inform, educate and entertain the audience not only as the fourth estate of realm but as public watch dog” he said.
JIFORM is a media group,with over 150 journalists covering migration across the globe.