Farmers / Herders clash Search for common ground inducts 21 Media Fellows
By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos
An international Non-Governmental Organization working to end Farmers and Herders clash in Nigeria Search for Common Ground-Nigeria, recently inducted 21 Media Fellows it selected from Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau states for the period of one year.
Our correspondent reports that the Country Director of the organization, Sher Ali Nawaz, performed the induction last tuesday at a 2-day training workshop for the selected Media Fellows under the project: “Transforming the Farmer/Herder Conflicts and Promoting Freedom of Religions and Beliefs’ in Nigeria’s Middle Belt” at AKwanga, Nasarawa state North central Nigeria .
The Country Director, who was represented by a Senior Programme Manager of the NGO, Olutoyin Falade, said the selected Fellows were expected to produce contents that help to demystify the farmer/herder conflicts, breakdown stereotypes and biases.
He pointed out that the engagement of Media Fellows by the organization was the first of its kind in Nigeria, urging them to make maximum use of the opportunity and contribute their quota towards a peaceful society by exhibiting high sense of commitment in the discharge of their responsibility.
He said the expected contents were also to promote positive narratives around farmer/herder collaborations and de-escalate tensions that could fuel violence.
Nawaz explained that the mission of the organization is to transform how individuals, organizations and governments deal with conflict, away from adversarial approaches and towards cooperative solutions.
“Search seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities. Search implements projects from 50 offices in 43 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States”. She said.
He noted that Search for Common Ground has worked closely with communities involved in the affected states with a view to righting the wrong eliminating suspicious behaviours among the warring groups.
We must promote mutually beneficial relationship between herdsmen and farmers by searching for common grounds and emphasising the gains of togetherness,’’ he said.
A resource persons at the workshop, Mr. Austine Onuoha explained that the event was meant to intimate Fellows of the workings of the NGO
Onuoha said the media have obligations to society ,newsmedia should be truthful ,accurate ,fair objective and relevant , the media should be free ,but self regulated the media should follow agreed codes of ethics and professional conduct .
Papers presented at the training includes , Farmers / herders conflict in Nigeria conflict and context Analysis ,designing conflict sensitive media programs , framing ,media fellowship guiding principles , the journalist identity and culture ,designing work plan for media ,follows and next steps .
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