Worried about the increasing wave of conflicts and crises in some high institutions of learning in Nigeria, Campus Journalists have been urged to be tolerant in their reports and refrain from engaging in issues capable of creating tension in the society.
Speaking at a one-day seminar organised by Nigeria Association of Campus Journalists(NACJ) at the Usman Danfodiyo University (UDUS), Sokoto, the publisher of PRNigeria, Yushau Shuaib said that campus journalism should be a platform for healthy debate and to develop their talents in writings.
Shuaib who spoke on “The Role of Campus Journalism in Building Tolerance and Taming Conflicts,” said Campus journalists can fight cultism and drug addiction among other vices through advocacy campaigns and constructive engagements with the students.
He said: “Campus journalism should serve as a platform for debate on ideas and a Channel for tolerance, mutual relationship and peaceful coexistence. The Campus journalist should, therefore, serve as a guard to counter hate-speech and defuse tensions; a Manager in conflict Resolution, a helper of the poor, a defender of the weak and an advocate for Justice and Fairness.”
Shuaib charged the students to always endeavour to be humane by refraining from destroying people’s reputation.
“Journalists are to criticise constructively and you have to be objective by upholding truth at all times. You should also know that journalism is about humanity. You must be humane and keep away from reports capable of destroying people’s reputation”
“Therefore, you should endeavour to educate and enlighten your fellow students on happenings on the campus and also highlight some of the accomplishments of excellent students,” he said.
He cautioned the students against intolerance and rumour mongering.
“Don’t indulge in bias and misleading reports. Discard culture of lies and hatred. Intolerance is the reason we have crises in many parts of the country. Intolerance breeds conflict which leads to violence,” he added.
Speaking on the same theme at the occasion, a Senior Lecturer at the university, Mansur Buhari advised Campus Journalists to be truthful, courageous and fair in their reportage.
Meanwhile, on the travails of former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, Yushau Shuaib who recently released his new book “An Encounter with the Spymaster” said Nigerians were being deceived by toxic falsehood and bias information for ulterior motives.
Shuaib who had served as Media Consultant to Military and Security Agencies, maintained that no fewer than 25 towns in North-Eastern Nigeria were recovered from Boko Haram before the 2015 peaceful elections in Nigeria, contrary to misinformation by some vested interest.
He said: “Some of the liberated towns during Sambo Dasuki’s tenure as NSA included, but not limited to: Abadam, Askira, Baga, Bama, Bara, Buni Yadi, Damboa, Dikwa, Gamboru-Ngala, Goniri, Gujba, Gulag, Gulani, Gwoza, Hong, Kala Balge, Konduga, Kukawa, Marte, Madagali, Michika, Monguno, Mubi, Vimtim among others.
“It is sad that many people are vilifying Dasuki today because they do not want to hear or share the truth. Not only were those towns recovered from Boko Haram during his tenure, there are videos and pictorial evidence. A mere news google search of credible media could confirm the same efforts of the Nigerian military in conjunction with allied forces.
“The same Nigerian military is performing exceedingly well in the current dispensation in the face challenges. Therefore, verbal attacks on individuals for political reasons should not becloud our sense of judgement,” Shuaib concluded.
The one-day Seminar was supported by PRNigeria and Economic Confidential as Corporate Social Responsibility to boost the capacity of Campus Journalists on the required skills and basic tenets of Journalism, as there is no Mass Communication Department yet at the University.