ICRC trains journalists on humanitarian reporting

International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) on Wednesday trained journalists from ten states on reporting humanitarian related issues.

The two-day training featured journalists from prints, electronic and online media organisations from Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, Kastina, Bauchi, Kano, Yobe, Zanfara, Kaduna and Sokoto states.

Mr Robin Waudo Communication Coordinator ICRC Delegation, speaking at the programme in Jos, plateau state, said the workshop was aimed at equipping journalists with necessary knowledge of humanitarian reporting.

The Communication Coordinator added that the engagement would enable the organisation as well as journalists to share experiences on humanitarian issues emanating from conflicts with a view of deescalating the already volatile situation.

Waudo urged journalists to enlighten the public about the activities of ICRC which include; humanitarian services and promotion of international humanitarian law with the view of protecting civilians affected by crisis.

He said part of the mandate of ICRC was to provide care for victims of crisis who are sick and wounded, provide foods, clothes, clean as well as reunites separated family members among others.

He called on media practitioners to always contact the relevant persons in the organisation for confirmation of information concerning their activities before publishing, airing or broadcasting.

Similarly, Patience Nanklin-Yawus, Communication Field Officer of ICRC, Jos-sub-delegation believed that the engagement would help improve the content of the news stories of the participants.

She explained that ICRC operated based on seven principles, Humanitarian, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality in alleviating the suffering being faced by victims of conflicts.

On his part, Dr Bala Muhammad, facilitator at the training, said journalists were very important stakeholders that would help in addressing the increasing insecurity in the country.

He explained that journalists must understand the background of every conflict as well as understand what the real issues were in order to educate members of the public.

He argued that the insecurity in Nigeria could only be addressed if the government and other stakeholders addressed what he called the ‘five pillars of Nigeria insecurity’.

The facilitator who was a veteran journalist, is currently a Lecturer with Bayaro Kano, listed the pillars to include; guns, drugs, forests, motor cycles, and impunity by agencies.

He said almost all terrorists groups, bandits, kidnappers in the country used motor cycles, guns and were acting under the influence of drugs and used the forest as hideouts.

Muhammad said the government should destroy all the forests, ban importation of motor cycles and hard drugs as the immediate measures to tackle challenges in the country.

He noted that the government should also ensure all motor cycles to be imported to the country have chips before lefting the ban.

Muhammad added that the forests if destroyed now could still come up after some years in future.

He added that, ‘It is better for the country not have forests than for people to be kill in the manner they are being killed using the forests.’

He, therefore, urged the government to do something urgently towards implementing his suggestions which were products of a research to help tackle security challenges in the country. (NAN)

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