NGO Trains Katsina Youths on Tackling Insecurity, Fake News via Social Media

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By Francis Sardauna

Worried by the spate of insecurity in the country, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP), has trained over 600 youths on the use of social media to tackle conflicts, hate speech and the spread of fake news in six northern
states.

The CIPP Mass Media and Public Outreach Officer, Priscilla Fiberesima, disclosed this to journalists in Katsina during a one-day media literacy seminar, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

CIPP is a five-year project with consortium of partners that include Mercy Corps, ARDA Development Communication Incorporated, Pastoral Resolve (PARE), Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) and Savannah Center for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD).

She said the capacity building seminar was to develop the ability of youths in CIPP project states of Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Benue, Plateau and Kaduna on how to use the social media space to checkmate conflicts, hate speech and fake news in the communities.

Fiberesima, who is also the Programme Officer of ARDA Development Communication Incorporated, added that the training was imperative, especially in the wake of insurgency and banditry that are largely driven by digital campaigns.

The youths, she said, were also taught on how they can positively use the social media to develop their businesses and build personal brands thereby averting youths restiveness and avoid being used as mercenaries and fomenting trouble.

She said: “The goal of the CIPP project is to empower communities to prevent and respond to violence and violent extremism by strengthening skills and relationships in communities and harnessing the role of women in peace building in conflict communities in Katsina, Kano, Kogi, Benue, Plateau and Kaduna.

“In each of the states, we have trained at least 100 youths on how they can use the social media space to mitigate conflicts, hate speech and fake news thereby promoting peace in their communities.”

Presenting a paper christened, ‘Business Branding and Personal Branding’, Raymond Akusu admonished the youths to venture into meaningful businesses that would make them self-reliant instead of using the social media to instigate violence in the country.