An international non governmental organisation (NGO), Search for Common Ground, working on peace building and conflict transformation, has held a two-day workshop for 30 media practitioners and social media influencers in Kogi State ahead of the November governorship election.
Kogi State Project Coordinator of the organization, Mrs Gift Omoniwa said the training which was under the Electoral Empowerment for Civil Society Programme (EECSP), was organised by her NGO and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) with supports from UKAID and USAID.
According to her, the training was aimed at mainstreaming conflict sensitivity in media reportage, support journalists to constructively report on the elections without contributing to the drivers of electoral violence and agree on modalities for commemorating the “State Media Peace Day” ahead of the election in Kogi State.
She said the workshop also include accurate reporting on, and recording of election vote totals by domestic electoral observers during and after the election cycle as well as increased participation by marginalised groups in Nigerian political processes with focus on violence mitigation for 2019 polls.
The sessions also featured on hate speech trends, development of peace messages, early warning towards preventing electoral violence and building media synergies.
The training was facilitated by Temisan Etietsola, Search’s Media Manager, Joy Baiye, Media and Outreach Coordinator; Omolola Mamedu, Early Warning Coordinator and Gift Omoniwa, State Project Coordinator.
Media practitioners at the training observed that the social media especially in Kogi, of late was awashed with hate speeches and fake news with the aim of influencing the forthcoming November 16, governorship election in the state.
Baiye, in her presentation urged journalists to guard against being used by politicians to promote hate speech and fake news.
Mamedu, speaking on “Identifying threats and Drivers of Election Violence and Guaranteeing the smooth conduct of elections” held that hate speeches and fake news could undo outcome of elections and should be addressed seriously.