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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE TRAINING PROGRAMME ON CONFLICT PREVENTION AND PEACE BUILDING HELD FOR YOUTH-DRIVEN COMMUNITY, ETHNIC FAITH-BASED ORGANISATIONS IN THE SOUTH WEST AREA HELD AT WALLAN HOTEL, IBADAN, ORGANISED BY THE JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, (JODER) WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE FORD FOUNDATION, WEST AFRICA REGION ON JULY 05, 2017
Representatives of various stakeholders met here in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state to deliberate on the future of the people in relation to the social, cultural and economic developments that affect the wellbeing of the people;
The representatives were drawn from faith based, ethnic and other social and cultural organisations spread across the South West states of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Kwara, Kogi and Edo States. The representatives of the Police, Civil Defense and the Governor of Oyo and Osun States were also well represented at the event held at Wallan Hotel, Ibadan.
Participants agree that irrespective of the differences in religion, culture, heritage and faith, there are common aspirations of the people in the South West which include but not limited to shared history, sustainable livelihood, peaceful coexistence, protection of tradition and values, food and social security, dignity and mutual respect;
Participants recognize the importance of the training on conflict prevention especially at this crucial period of the nation’s history. Recognition was also given to the fact that the training was held at Ibadan, given the historic significance of the ancient city in the annals of Nigerians history;
Participants admit that crisis and instability are impediments to sustainable livelihood in the region. The participants also identify the various threats to all the people of the South West region to include violent extremism Boko Haram, religious intolerance, poverty, exclusion (Political and Economic), lack of access to opportunities, absence of constructive engagement by the authorities and by the people themselves.
Other sources of conflict identified are violent herdsmen, migration and competition for scarce natural resources, climate change and stiff competition for resources.
Participants also recognize that violence in all forms either through cultism, access to illicit weapons, corruption and weak judicial and security institutions as common threats to the livelihood of the people.
Participants identify what have been absent in the search for sustainable development in the region to include the lack of consensus on the part of the fending communities on what is best practices in dealing with conflict and its ugly manifestations,failure to act promptly when crisis begin to brew, inability to admit guilt and make amends, lack of people driven mechanism, partisanship of the security agencies, ethnic or race stereotyping, profiling and old prejudices.
After the one-day training spanning several hours marked by interactive sessions between and among the participants, the following resolutions were adopted:
Clips from the first bloggers, online media peace-building training held at International Press Centre, IPC, Ogba, Lagos.
JODER ED, Mr. Adewale Adeoye giving the opening speech
Participants at the training
Resource Person Mr. Yinka Oyegbile, responding to questions.
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A 2-DAY SUMMIT ON PEACE BUILDING AND CONFLICT PREVENTION HELD IN ABUJA ON JUNE 14, 2017 AT DENIS HOTEL, WUSE 2, ABUJA.
Following the successful summit of various stakeholders drawn from the diverse social strata in the historic city, Kaduna, and considering the strategic place of Abuja, the seat of Nigerian government and the melting pot of people from among the over 300 ethnic groups;
Here gathered are youth-driven organisations, social movements, labour, artisan leaders being delegates from various parts of Nigeria also representing various groupings, social, cultural and ethnic associations met in Abuja from 13 – 15 June, 2017 to deliberate on our future as a people;
We met at Abuja at the 2-day summit organized by Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) with the support of the Ford Foundation, West Africa Region;
The summit which was divided into two segments, (i) the opening ceremony which was declared by the Acting President, Prof ‘Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by Senator Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Political Affairs, (ii) the summit proper which involved the training and the closed door sessions of leaders of ethnic and religious associations present;
Other dignitaries that attended the opening ceremony were the Minister of Interior General Abdulrahman Dambazau represented by Mr Ita Bassey, the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty, General represented by Mr Mologe, the Senate represented by among many other top government officials.
The summit, we admit has come at a very important time in the annals of Nigerian history, considering the nature and form of conflict which continues to make life uncomfortable for the entire citizenry;
The summit takes into consideration the various social relations, the background leading to the present seeming tempestuous nature of Nigeria, the history of the country and the nature and character of the crisis that have dominated the country for a very long time;
That crisis undermines economic and social advancement realizing that peaceful coexistence is desired by all Nigerians irrespective of religion, class distinction or ethnicity;
The participants identify the various types of conflict and their sources in Nigeria. Some of the identified major conflicts are;
Some of the identified causes of conflict are:
Delegates are aware of the current situation in Nigeria, that in spite of the return to democratic rule in 1999, the country though has recorded breath-taking achievements, but has remained fragile due to weak and vulnerable institutions.
Delegates observed that at present, the country is plagued by several other challenges including ethnic suspicion, dwindling moral values, violence, mutual distrust and other social vices that threaten peace and harmony in the country.
Participants identify immediate and long term threats to democracy and stability in Nigeria. One of the immediate threats is that in the past few weeks, the country has witnessed upsurge in hate speeches, ethnic profiling, unwarranted threats and total disregard for the culture of robust and healthy debate.
That the people on their own should not wait for government to be the only bridge builder or peace maker, but should rather organize themselves in to Peace Ambassadors through indigenous and people-driven initiatives towards sustainable livelihood in Nigeria.
That the summit facilitated by JODER with the support of FORD FOUNDATION has come at the right time the fabric of unity and cooperation among Nigeria’s various social formations appear to be weak and defenseless.
That we the delegates speak have spoken with open-mind, with the conviction that the interaction will help in no small measure the representatives of various communities and organizations to understand and appreciate each other better towards fostering peace and understanding in Nigeria.
The Resolutions made this day of Thursday, June 15, 2017 in Abuja.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SUMMIT/TRAINING
on Promoting Peace, Democracy and Stability in Nigeria through the Media, Socio-Cultural Institutions and Youth-Driven Community Based Groups HELD AT De NEVILLA HOTEL, KADUNA ON JUNE 12 2017, BY JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS,(JODER) WITH THE SUPPORT OF FORD FOUNDATION, WEST AFRICA REGIONAL OFFICE
We representativesof various ethnic, cultural, religious and social formations met here in Kaduna for the utilitarian good of the diverse peoples of Northern Nigeria.
The summit combined with a Training programme in Kaduna on June 12, 2017 has participantsdrawn from largely youth leaders of community-based organisations, ethnic communities and associations, faith-based groups, government and representatives of democratic institutions and security organisations. The programme was declared open by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam El Rufai, represented by his Special Adviser, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.
The choice of Kaduna was by design, but has come to be a good coincidence given the history of Nigeria and the role the city has played as a major actor, since the 1966 military assault on democracy, and the far-reaching consequences on the political-economic and the social equilibrium on the North and on the entire country.
We observe and significantly so, that Kaduna was recently chosen by some youths, who had few weeks ago, ordered a section of the country to quit the Northern territories following perceived threats from an the activities of equally youth-driven organizations from the Southern part of the country.
We notice that, for the avoidance of doubt, the North has, in recent time, been plagued by different forms of conflict, religious, ethnic, social and political.
One of the most worrisome dimensions being the recurrence of extremism of different shades, killings, proliferation of small arms in the hands of non-state actors, violent conflict over grazing routes and the multi-national dimension of the conflict.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUMMIT/TRAINING
THIS DECLARATION WE MAKE THIS DAY, JUNE 12 2017 IN KADUNA.
Pictures of the training on reporting diversity for both media and electronic media on Monday June 5th, 2017 at Elomaz Hotel Maryland, Lagos. Organised by JODER facilitated by Ford Foundation.
Dr. Akintunde Akanni, the Resource Person at the Reporting Diversity training for journalists
MR Adewale Adeoye, ED, JODER, giving the opening address
Participants at the training of journalists
JODER REPRESENTATIVE; MR AKINWALE KASALI WITH MR. LANRE SURAJU, MR. SULAIMON ARIGBABU AND MR SHINA ODUGBEMI AT THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION ON CORRUPTION IN THE UTILIZATION OF RECOVERED FUNDS
Title of publication:
SOLUTION-DRIVEN RURAL POVERTY REPORTING INITIATIVE
Summary of highlights and outcomes of IPC’s solution driven/poverty reporting project in Nigeria
Author: International Press Centre (IPC) with the support of World Association for Christian Communication (WACC)
No of pages: 24
Reviewer: Adewale Adeoye, Executive Director, JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
I wish to commend the International Press Centre, (IPC) for this piece of art and also the World Association For Christian Communication for supporting IPC in carrying out the project implementation, whose summary outcome makes up the content of this publication. Documenting this as an outcome of their work on how media and grass root collaboration can engender development, especially addressing rural poverty conditions at the grass roots serves as a valuable asset for posterity. All over the world, what moves nations and people from stupor to greatness is ideas. This publication is another major contribution to the world of form. The world will run out of energy the day ideas are no more.
This small but significant publication represents a critical engagement of the media’s role in reflecting the echoes from the valleys. I suspect the IPC took the challenge up owing to the declining fortunes of the Nigerian media in meeting public expectations and being the platform for all interests.
Over the years, the Nigerian media has witnessed its worst decline. News stories have come to reflect only the wishes and aspirations of the rich and influential. Newspaper and electronic media have come to portray more of the interests of the few. The travails, pains and pangs of the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized majority are left unattended to. Even when stories of poverty are reported, the media only scratch the surface. Pictures about poverty follow the trend of opportunism instead of raising critical issues of underdevelopment.
The book has come to challenge this tradition by providing a new guideline that should lead to a paradigm shift.
The publication emphasizes the fact that journalism is not a property of the rich to be manipulated to the disadvantage of the people. It teaches us that the grundnorm of journalism must not be thrown into the thrashbin, that the founding principle of mass communication is to give a voice to the people, not alone to their leaders, who sometimes are also their tormentors alone.
The publication may be small but the frame of mind is huge and inexhaustible. It redefines the current role of the Nigerian media by making a conscious attempt to draw back the missing sheep. The publication captures the strategic role that the media can play in advancing the cause of the people at the lowest ladder of the ladder. Inspite of the fact that the poor do not have the purchasing power, but their expectations, their fears and aspirations must be projected.
This publication demonstrates IPC’s prominent lead in media capacity building which has enabled the institution to enhance public interest reporting. The book is a 24 page summary of media enhanced community led activities built around solution-driven rural poverty reporting initiative which focuses on Advancing the development issues of 8 Grassroots Communities in Lagos.
The publication summed up a series of engagement on how the media was instrumental in capturing the pains, frustrations and concerns of rural settings, and providing the edge to facilitating organs of government to meet the development needs of the eight pilot grass root communities in Lagos State
The report also provides information on the state of infrastructure in rural Lagos communities. It enriches the ability of journalists to report diversity issues involved in a class driven political economy.
One of the most striking aspects was to bring rural communities to interact with journalists. Journalists after training also conducted visits to communities between November 2015 and April 2016.
During the engagement, efforts were made to draw government attention to specific challenges of rural communities, leading to the achievement of certain milestones. For instance, the construction of poor roads at the Bolaji Omupo, Bashoa CDA in Somolu Local Government, the rehabilitation of Obele Odan community Primary School in Obele Oniwahala, Surulere and the construction of a major link road into Erejuwa community in makoko area of Lagos Mainland Local Government are striking examples. The project also involved empowering community representative to write of letters to local government administrators between March and October 2016 on the plight of affected communities, meeting local administrators and coming up with concrete solutions that address the needs of the people.
It is a great attempt at merging the wide gap between ordinary people and the men and women who control commerce, politics and economy. It gives a narrative that redirects our energy to the core tenets of journalism. It shows clearly the strong and inseparable link between sustainable development and journalism when practiced according to its traditional values and norms.
The publication of this book should not end in a room. It must not end on the table. It should be on the streets, in the news rooms, on the desk of every reporter and editor across Nigeria and throughout the West African sub-region.
I commend the IPC for this amazing contribution to development journalism. The publication is handy, easy to digest and produced in simple language that everyone should understand.
The other aspect is how do we transform this document into a working tool in the newsrooms? How do journalists adopt the recommendations in this book as a working document? What strategies have been adopted by the IPC to sustain the momentum that has been built with this project. What other roles can government, funders and development partners play in supporting initiatives like this to address the development of grass root communities?
I believe the IPC could do more in terms of the graphics of the book. I am also not sure of the percentage of print media especially radio that took part in the project.
In all, this is a great piece, a master piece, a clear example of how the IPC has continued to play roles in advancing the role of the media in development in Nigeria and West Africa in terms of capacity building and the commendable effort of creating a permanent synergy between journalism and sustainable development in an obviously tough environment.
The Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER has again cautioned the Federal Government to beware of the prospect of a string of reprisal attacks following the incidence at Ile-Ife where scores of people died, the killings in Benue State and the ethnic violence in Enugu State.
JODER advised the Nigerian authorities to launch a massive campaign for Amnesty as barter for the retrieval of arms in the hands of non-state actors. It said proliferation of arms in Nigerian has been compounded by the conflict in the Maghreb region and the Middle belt, lack of firm institutional response, corruption and a weak immigration policy framework which has made Nigeria a country without borders.
The media rights group in a statement on Friday signed by Assistant Programme Officer, Akinwale Kasali raised the risk of some organized armed groups planning revenge attacks following the ethnic crises in the highlighted states.
JODER said it is in possession of a video clip urging vengeance, bloodletting and revenge. The media group alerted the authorities to another version of a video clip calling for violent reprisal which may be carried out unless the government nips it in the bud. JODER said the new video released on Thursday is the second of such hate clip being circulated with intent to create a sense of siege that may spur ethnic uproar. The group said terrorist groups outside the country might take undue advantage of the clip to support violence in the name of faith.
“There are two dangerous video clips in circulation. The two of them are being circulated mostly in Northern parts of the country, in Chad and in Northern Cameroon calling on Muslims to rise up and revenge”, the statement signed by JODER’s Assistant Programme Officer, Mr. Akinwale Kasali said.
He said the video clips were sent to JODER by Northerners working with JODER on peace building across the country. He observed that since the March 07 crisis at Ile-Ife and the recent killings in Benue State, there has been uneasy tension and that the disputants are desperately waiting for an opportunity to renew the hostility. JODER stated that In one of the videos, clips of victims were used as propaganda tools. In the other video, it appears the people fanning the embers of revenge collected several pictures from unrelated violent incidences that happened across the world including the killings in Somalia and Rwanda to depict the Nigerian ethnic crisis.
”It said the clips are instigating a fresh wave of “anger and desperation” which may snowball into a major conflict in the country”, Kasali stated.
JODER said the Federal Government should act fast by probing the origin of the video so also halt another round of carnage. “The speech in the video is filled with hate and avarice. The objective is to stir killings, riots and violence. We do not know how these elements may wish to carry out these planned attacks, but it appears the threat of reprisal across the country is real.
”JODER also asked the Federal Government to intensify security patrol along the country’s highways so as to be able to stop the transportation of arms and dangerous weapons the riotous elements may wish to use in their plot to cause another ethnic uproar.
JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, (JODER)
Free Speech. Free Spirit. Free World
Office Address: 14, Aina Eleko Street, Onigbongbo, Maryland, Lagos.
Tel: 08051212398, 07065990938