Nico: In Search of Peace through the lens of the Media - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Nico: In Search of Peace through the lens of the Media

By Frank Meke 

Conflict Resolution in Nigeria cultural setting is of the most unique colouration. There are rules of engagement, desire for peace and tranquility. 

Parties to disputes may call witnesses who must be willing under oath (to gods) to be a truthful enabler to the resolution of disputes. The judges, usually wisened old men, with integrity certification, fearless and courageous,  sits over issues with wisdom.  

It was from generation to generation, the project of communal and cultural heritage,  put on  the table,  in the village square,  bearing the burden of toxic issues, navigated through vehicle of community development  in view, knowing what ills few, may dislocate the dreams of the majority. 

And with the coming of colonisation and its attendant modernisation, Nigeria's cultural vehicle, and its human cargo,  became victims of  global  cultural accident, abandoned in the clinic of manipulative foreign influences, robotic  and struggling to find the old cherished cultural path and way of life.

No doubt, Nigeria is struggling,  and like a Dam waiting to bust at seams, with very dare consequences for over two hundred million people, a way out must be found through cultural engagement as of old. 

And in a world, bent on self destruct, where technology and communication,  have become toxic cargoes of  imperialism and recolonialisation of nations and peoples,  Nigeria and Nigerians,  lost in the mix of carefully packaged aemagedon,  quacks and tremble in confusion. 

Here, at this cross road, certainly a worrisome threat to the survival of the nation, a time for a rethink of our cultural experience and expectations, National Institute for Cultural Orientation, pooled strategic  efforts to reexamine the roles of the Nigerian avant-garde media architecture  in tracking and sustaining the values of Nigerian culture in engendering peaceful coexistence and national security.

Ado Yahuza, Chief Executive Officer of NICO, headlined the intervention in kano, last week,  praying for a serious interrogation of the role of  the media in the quest to protect our culture for the sake of peace and national security. 

Yahuza since his coming to this strategic organ of government over a year ago,  had taken to engaging the Nigerian rich culture content,  targeting the young persons,  and like an evangelist, pursed the restoration of our values through focal agenda on our traditional ways of life, languages and temperance.  

At this conference, to which the rains gave kano a call sign on the impact of climate change, Ado Yahuza canvassed  for a national culutral movement if Nigeria must gain rapid growth in all developmental aspirations.  

There's no denying that culture is the bedrock of national development,  bearing peace and security on its wings. Carefully selected faculty  gave the subject matter  a thorough review and submitted that, Nigeria must be made to go back the old way. 

My space, won't give me the liberty to  clearly reflect on the papers presented at this very thoughtful and rewarding engagement, in which deliberately researched papers in critical developmental milestones were presented. 

Topics on Culture, Banditry and National security challenges" The Nigerian media,  Patriotism and quest for Peace and security" and the Role of the media in Prevention or escalation of conflicts in Nigeria," were chronicled. 

Other topics include " cultural Dynamics and the challenges for sustainable Peace and security in Nigeria," social mobilization and security Awareness; The synergy between between security Agencies and the Media" and "The phenomenon of Hate speech and fake news: implications for peace and security in Nigeria" 

The authors will gain exposure on this page in weeks to come but suffice to say that each resource person was at liberty to clearly reflect off the assigned topic to enrich the solution process. 

Journalism lecturer and columnist,  Professor Bala Muhammed in his presentation on "Nigeria Media,  Patriotism and quest for Peace and security" in Nigeria, alarmed me with suggestions to carpet bomb  forest ecosystems across the country as panacea to rash of insurgency and kidnappings across Nigeria. 

He wondered at the structure of Conservation structure and implementation in the country and we squared on the fact that states and local governments have abandoned their roles in ensuring that our flora ecosystem as of old, is captured in national development agenda.  

Indeed as natural laboratories for 
 hydrology, pharmaceutical and agrotourism heritage, sentiments inspired by frustrating antics of criminals hiding under forest covers, bears no solution to suggestions to wipe out our forest ecosystem, not with climate change Stirring us in the face. 

Significantly, the media bears the brunt in the failings of a nation where corruption is now a national creed. So how does the media fare in this trajectory? Stringent calls were made to invest more in the exposure of the media in reporting culture as peace harbinger and enabler.

Director General,  National Institute For Hospitality and Tourism, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa in a goodwill message, advocated for a strategic creative national educational visits for the media and a developmental cultural knowledge based programme to create awareness and inaugurate the baseline for reportage of Nigeria's  diversity in culture,  religion and history.  

The social media got snides and knocks for being at behest of the troubling reportage of " invented" and deployed hate confluence of religious and political intolerance,  escalated  mostly by the youths who apparently fails in evaluating consequences of their actions in  a nation with huge diverse culture and tradition. 

To the political class, there is no denying their very corrupt influence on the people,  with tendencies at variance to best of Nigeria cultural history and tradition.  

And in an era, where everyone assumes to be a journalist and with a smartphone, can influence irritations and violence,  National Institute for Cultural Orientation, must be supported, funded to bridge gaps desirable to peace and security,  with the traditional media,  as partners to national cultural revival. Soon, on this page, each of the six papers presented by all key resource persons,  will be brought to your attention.

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