Journalsts in Borno have been tasked on the critical role expected of them in the post conflict and recovery period of the state.
The State Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Dauda Iliya gave the charge on Monday in his address to commemorate the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
Iliya said Journalists in Borno have reported the over 10 years of insurgency in Borno and even lost some of its members in the process but would not relent in telling the story as the state commenced its journey of recovery.
“Today marks another milestone in the history of NUJ in the state, as it is the first time Borno Council is commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
“The Journalism profession in the last two decades has become the most perilous profession with the rising incidents of terrorism, insurgency, pandemics, political violence and ethno-religious conflict across the globe..
“It is worthy of note that journalists in Borno state, epicentre of the more than decade-long insurgency have displayed uncommon gallantry, patriotism and professionalism despite threats, intimidation, assault and harassment in the discharge of their constitutionally assigned duties.
“More devastating is how some of our colleagues like Zakariya Isa, Farah Mala Modu and Audu Maidugu were gruesomely killed by the insurgents during the peak of the crisis.
“With the gradual return of peace to the state, journalists have a critical role to play in the post conflict recovery phase,” Iliya added.
He said the theme of the event “Promoging the Safety of Journalists in Post Conflict Era” was apt as it would provide an opportunity to brainstorm on critical issues affecting the union with a view to renew its image.
Declaring the two-day even open, the Borno Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Babakura Abba-Jato lauded the Initiative by new leadership of NUJ in the state and assured it of government support to succeed.
Abba-Jato who condemned all forms of violence against Journalists, urged everyone to support good Journalism to thrive for nation building.
He noted that as a active journalist himself who is appointed as Commissioner of Information by the Gov. Babagana Zulum administration showed the administration commitment to free press that would continue to be sustain in the state.
In her remarks, representative of British Council Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN), Fatima Ibrahim who spoke on the unique role of Journalists in peace building, urged Journalists not to relent in building a peaceful society.
Others who presented good will messages at the occassion included the Military, Police, NLC, Civil Society Organisations, and Veteran Journalists.
Papers presented at the event included “Post Conflict Recovery Process, Role of Journalists” by Prof. Danjuma Gambo, “Safety and Protection Issues in the Coverage 2023 General Election in Borno” by Dr Sharafa Dauda”, and “Media Professional Bodies in a Digital Age: An Appraisal of NUJ” by Dr Ahmed Beidu.