By: mayen Etim
Special Adviser on Security to Plateau State Governor, Brigadier General GG Shipi (Rtd), has tasked media practitioners in the state to always report threats or security challenges in the correct perspective.
General Shipi asserted this at the opening of a 2-day capacity building training for media practitioners on conflicts sensitivity reportage organized by the Interfaith Mediation Center, (IMC) Kaduna under the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace, (CIPP) funded by Mercy Corps and USAID in Jos, Plateau State capital on Tuesday.
He said one of the issues he has had to contend with when the issue of security challenges come up for discussion is getting the threats analyzed in the correct perspective.
According to him, when a threat or security challenges is given a wrong name or nomenclature, the solution is already missed, noting that it is one of the major issues he is contending with at the moment in the state.
He urged media practitioners to always balance their reports, and as well cautioned them against giving issues wrong names, “when we’re trying to address issues let’s give it the correct name. Once the context is not gotten correctly it affect lots of the jobs we do.
“If something is happening and you have no idea on how to go about your reportage, please get an expert to tell you the right words to use, because when the wrong words are used and it goes out it becomes difficult to retrieve,” he further cautioned.
Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Gyang Bere, who commended organizers of the event, said the training was very important not only to the state, but the Nation at large; noting that
early warning signal is key to addressing conflict.
He said when early warning signals are taken seriously conflicts would be nib in the bud, and urged participants to always bear in mind the state where they operate while reporting, as they could make or mar situation. “I believe with this training we will strive towards making our state, report things that will create a conducive atmosphere to attract global and national investors to the state.
“The image of our state, country is key, hence we have to take deliberate steps towards reporting issues that will make Nigeria and Plateau State conducive for people to come in and do business.
“We must also report issues happening in our state in a manner that will solicit help for it, therefore it is important to tilt our reportage toward that direction,” he said.
Bere also informed that before Governor Caleb Mutfwang, officially took over governance, he was aware of the outbreak of skirmishes in part of Mango and Riyom Local Government Areas.
“Since May 29 when he took over office, we know the efforts he has put in place to ensure that Plateau State remains peaceful. He has done a lot. Visits to security formation in Abuja were made, where some came down to the state. Journalists have been part and parcel of these efforts to ensure the state remains peaceful.”
Explaining further, the Director of Press said, Governor Mutfwang’s desire is to unite citizens of the state, create a conducive working atmosphere for the people to carry out their businesses.
“This is the mission which the governor has come with. He wants a situation whereby Plateau citizens are united across ethnicity, all faiths, regional. No matter where you come from as long as you are someone who believes in peace, he is ready to work with you. So, he has come with a mission of uniting the citizens,” he added.
In his remarks, Acting Director General, Plateau State Peace Building Agency, (PPBA), Gayi Gayi, said the media has been an integral part of the success story of the Agency for the past six years.
He said in the last few months, there has been a resurgence of violence around some communities, particularly, in Mango LGA, across border communities of Bokkos, Barkin Ladin, Riyom, and Bassa respectively.
He said the gathering is apt and at the end, participants will go out better as they report both on the traditional and new media.
In her remarks, State Director, National Orientation Agency, (NOA), Kaneng Pam-Hworo, said the challenges in the state are beyond what could be treated offhandedly.
She said NOA, as an agency mobilizes Nigerians to act properly and do that which is right concerning the nation, and in doing right, citizens ought to know how to report issues like conflicts and as well whenever they see something, they say something as Nigerians.
In his presentation, “Conflicts Analysis on the basis of Media”, Conflict Technical Adviser, (CIPP), Godwin Okoko, said it is important participants at the training understand conflicts to ensure they are able to give effective reportage.
Okoko who defined conflict analysis as the systematic study of the profile, causes, actors, and dynamics of conflict; said it helps development, humanitarian and peace building organizations to gain a better understanding of the context in which they work and their role in that context.