By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
Media practitioners have been reminded to understand and see their roles in peace building as unique responsibilities by discharging their roles in a way that will promote peace and harmony to nurture all communities towards exclusively peaceful means in the country.
The Special Adviser to governor Nasir el-Rufai on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, while speaking at a policy roundtable on Media and Peace Building in Nigeria, Kaduna, organized by United States Institute of Peace (UNSIP), in collaboration with Daily Trust Foundation, noted that the media can help to throw light to understand the different dimensions of complex issues to enable people understand not just the news but the news behind the news of helping people in conflict can be encouraged to look for ways of resolving their differences.
He added that it would help people to work towards upholding peace and harmony.
Mr Adekeye said that the media is a very important institution in the society invested with constitutional roles, saying, “Peace is a value that all of us must cherish. The media has important role in bringing communities together in helping them to understand themselves and to understand other communities.”
He added, “Every effort and investment made in ensuring that the media understands the issues and be able to reflect the issues properly is a worthwhile investment.”
The Special Adviser explained that in April 2016, the Kaduna state government trained 30 that are not government employees with the firm believed they would be able to discharge their duties in a professional manner, thereby assisting and enabling them to make further contributions to peace and sustainable development in the country.
He observed that communities in the state that have taken steps to resolve their differences is a welcome idea, stressing that it is a very significant effort at community levels to anchor on peace and promote understanding among diverse communities in order to move away from violence conflict towards ensuring peaceful means of resolving their differences.
In his contribution, the convener of Arewa Research and Development Initiative, Dr. Usman Bugaje, observed that the media practitioners hold a key role to peace building but warned that steps must be taken to regulate the activities of social media because of their grave consequences to the development of the country.
He suggested that government should come up with a policy that any media house that fails to pay its employees should be closed down, stressing, “If journalists are not paid, the society is faced with danger; creating room for corruption and also creating a culture will deepen and spread and as well subjecting the society into a lot of dangers.”