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Plateau State Peace Agency Task Journalists On Peace Journalism

Director General, Plateau state peace building agency Dr. Joseph Lengman, in an address, said credible reportage by Journalists do propagate harmony and peaceful coexistence in the society.

The Plateau State Peace Building Agency in collaboration with United State Embassy organized a one day symposium for Journalists, practicing in Jos, on conflict sensitive reporting on Tuesday.

DG of the peace agency revealed to the gathering that the Plateau peace building agency is the Brian-child of the incumbent Plateau state government toward nipping in the bud and also mitigating in every unrest. He noted that the agency is non religious and not political.

According to Dr. Lengman, Plateau state peace building agency is the first of it kind in Nigeria; he stressed that formation of the agency has helped in curtailing some uprising that would have degenerated.
He said some states in Nigeria, who are bedeviled by violence conflicts have queue in the Plateau initiatives on mitigating civil unrest through establishing peace building agencies.
In their separate paper presentations, Dr. Godfrey Danaan, a lecturer with the university of Jos, from the department of Mass communication, Dr. Godwin Okoko, of the civil societies and a communication consultant Mr. Solomon Kwakfut advocated for peace journalism.
According to Dr. Okoko, the advent, and wrong use of the social media by unqualified persons have caused more harm than good.
The civil society expert revealed that some Nigerian citizens who do not wish the country well do feed the public with unconfirmed reports that could degenerate into violence clashes.
On his part, Mr. Solomon Kwakfut, in a lecture said some sensational captions of published news stories has in the past created more conflicts.
He therefore cautioned media practioners, particularly editors from casting sensational headlines for monetary gains.
Delivering a good will massage, chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalist, (NUJ) Plateau state council Paul Jatau, in a speech said the symposium is timely and apt.
Mr. Paul Jatau, a feature editor of the Nigerian Standard, a Plateau state government publication also cautioned reporters on fueling conflicts through reporting unconfirmed stories.
Similarly, chairman Unit FM, a private radio station in Jos, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, a one time minister of information said the media in Nigeria has powers to mitigate in civil unrest.
The former minister said the relative peace achieved in Plateau state in recent times was in collaboration of the media with peace advocates (NGO’s) and the Plateau citizens who desire to live in peace.
He however, Alhaji Nakande said some civil unrest that occurred in Plateau state was as a result of criminality among gangs of criminals terrorising the state for selfish gains.
A communiqué is expected; 44 selected Journalists attended the symposium.

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