In an attempt to tackle Insecurity bedeviling the Nation, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ has organized National Security Summit to brainstorm with journalists and relevant stakeholders on the professional roles of media in curbing security challenges.
The Summit which came up in Lafia Nasarawa state between 3rd-5th of November has the theme” National Interest Amidst Insecurity- The Role of the Media.
Stakeholders at the event regretted how banditry, kidnapping, insurgency have defeated national agenda of Agricultural transformation, lamented that insecurity has driven most farmers out of their farms for lack of safety and protection.
The Stakeholders posited that the theme of the summit is apt considering the fact that professionalism in the part of journalists cum meaningful relationship between the Media and security agencies would provide solution to the menace .
They particularly decried the negative impact of screaming and sensational headlines, describing such as unprofessional. They highlighted the significance of Journalism as weapon in eradicating unpalatable development in human society.
They however declared that for media to pose immense benefits in the society Journalists must be patriotic and Nationalistic ,avoid giving undue publicity to unpatriotic human and activities, not meant for well being of the Nation. The stakeholders urged media to use the profession in building peace where all Nigerians would live in safety and tranquility.
The National President of NAWOJ Mrs Ladi Bala earlier in her welcome address disclosed that the event was the first of it’s kind for the Association,she appreciated the Nasarawa state governor,Engineer Abdullah Sule for the support in hosting the event.
“Nigeria is besieged by Insecurity. The diversification of our economy to Agriculture is threatened as farmers are no longer secured as before in their farms . Many schools are being closed down, economy of the Nation is shrinking. People no longer have confidence in government, consequently media has crucial roles, it’s on this note that NAWOJ deems it fit to call for security summit.
” NAWOJ is determined to join forces in proferring solution to insecurity in the country,bloodshed must be curtailed. There must be deliberate and conscious efforts to fight the menace. Media must be patriotic in their reportage. Media and security must partner efficiently to conquer insecurity”
The Stakeholders also stressed on provision of job opportunities for the youths.
Former NAWOJ president Mrs Ify Omowole declared that screaming headlines is unprofessional and escalating insecurity in the country.
The Nasarawa state governor,Engineer Abdullah Sule who was represented by the Secretary to the state government. SSG Alhaji Aliyyu Guandoma said ” Nasarawa state had it’s own experience of security challenges which are herders farmers crisis,Benue/ Nasarawa Community crisis,Darusalem Islamic sect crisis among others”
Governor Sule added that the state comprises peace loving people, stressing that security is everybody’s business
” As a government we are committed to industrialize our state and grow the GDP making it save and secure for people to live we must keep Politics in abeyance in handling insecurity
“In my first assignment on assumption of office , I visited my colleagues in Benue to see how we can work together peacefully in our boarder communities.
” The media helps in bringing democracy to Nigeria, they should help to sustain it through reportage that would bring unity in the country. Pen is a magic which can be used to uphold the security of the Country”
In his own speech, the Bornu state governor,Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum who was the Guest speaker and represented by the state Commissioner For Women affairs Hajiya Zuwera Gambo said Journalists in the course of conflict reportage have displayed courage.
” In Maiduguri a number of them have faced challenges in reporting, staying away from their homes. However Some social media content are not helping the situations.
“Security and armed forces need media to inform the public about their roles. Media must play the role of watch dog in tackling insecurity . Professional journalists must distinguish themselves from the unprofessionals in terms of their headlines.
” However,Tendency of Poor remuneration cannot produce good journalists, responsible Journalism will make our society safer, while journalists take training seriously”.
Among other stakeholders at the event were representatives of security agencies, National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. NUJ,Comrade Chris Iziguzor, President Nigeria Guild of Editors Mallam Mustapha Isa.
The summit was attended by all National and state executives of NAWOJ across the country.
At the technical session, journalists had interface with the Stakeholders on germane issues on security and the way out.