The Kaduna State Peace Commission has promised to partner the media in building peaceful coexistence among ethno-religious groups in the state. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Mrs. Priscilla Ankut, while speaking at a consultative meeting with the media in Kaduna yesterday said, “The media a critical stakeholder in peace building which has been playing a role in reporting conflicts situations in the state for the past three decades which shows they can contribute positively to the peace building process.
“The media is very strategic in helping the commission achieve its mandate, because what the media reports can either help in resolving the conflict or fueling it.”
She said the commission was established six months ago to promote peace and harmonious coexistence, conflict prevention and peace building.
Also speaking, Dr. Saleh Momale, one of the Commission’s commissioners, noted that it would be very difficult to avoid conflict in communities, but that it could be prevented from escalating to violence. Momale called on people of the state to see the commission not as an arm of the government, but as a commission of the people of the state.
Journalists from selected media organisations pledged their support, but advised the commission to assert its independence from the state to build the needed confidence in the people.
They also called on the commission to address the structural injustice that keeps the people apart, rather than united, as well as hate speech coming from highly placed political officials in the state.