By Alex Enumah
The Chairman of THISDAY Newspapers Editorial Board, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, and other senior journalists in Nigeria yesterday tasked the Nigerian media to begin the de-escalation of insecurity as well as the violence in the country through mature way of reporting.
Speaking at a one-day roundtable on ‘The Media and Security Challenges: The Way Forward’, Adeniyi charged the media to work towards comprehending the real issues of insecurity in the country before discharging their task of informing the public.
Also, others who spoke at the roundtable organised by a non-governmental organisation, Vision Centre for Communication and Development Advocacy, (VICCDA), President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo; acting Chairman of VICCDA, Otunba Onayiga, among other leading practicing journalists, called on the federal government to rise up to the challenge of insecurity threatening the peace and wellbeing of the country.
Adeniyi, who stated that there’s anger among the people in the country owing to the devastating activities of bandits, charged journalists that before writing their reports, they should ask themselves: “What can I do to help de-escalate the crisis.”
He also warned against telling only one sided story, adding that instead of dwelling on negatives of the crisis, they should highlight instances of resilience and other inspiring human angles in conflict.
While stating that “we create more crisis when we frame religion into it,” he advised, adding that journalists should rather ask: “How do we help to promote culture that would promote peace and dialogue?”
Earlier, the National President of the NUJ, Isiguzo, noted that the worsening security situation in the country is threatening national peace and development.
He, therefore, challenged the federal government to rise to the occasion by doing everything possible to protect lives and property of the citizens.
The NUJ president also urged journalists to communicate in such a way that the security challenges would be surmounted by the government instead of worsening the situation.
He, however, commended the organisers of the event, adding that it comes at the right time where Nigeria is facing security challenges.
Similarly, acting Chairman VICCDA, Onayiga, maintained that the dialogue comes at a decisive moment in proffering solutions and assistance to the federal government in curbing the negative effects of insecurity.
According to him, “We needed to call top journalists to put heads together to see what we can do to salvage the current insecurity in the country. Because of the responsibility given to us by the constitution, we will see to it that we deliver responsible reportage.
“We are here to proffer solutions as media professionals to mitigate the negative effects of the current security situation facing the country. Our vision is to have a vibrant voice for the society and a mission to train, sensitise and promote accountability.”
Other speakers at the event urged Nigerians, the media and relevant security agencies to seek peace and security rather than strife and conflict.