A group of journalists drawn from the print and broadcast media in different parts of Nigeria have formed a network to campaign against impunity in the country.
The 22 journalists who attended a one-day capacity-building workshop held in Asaba, Delta State on May 20, 2013,decided to form the network at the end of the programme organized by the Stop Impunity Nigeria (S.I.N) Campaign. The Campaign is made up of four civil society organizations namely Community Life Project (CLP), Centre for Justice (CSJ), Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Human Development Initiative (HDI).
They are working in partnership with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), National Orientation Agency (NOA), and Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).
The workshop for journalists is one out of many training and sensitization programmes being held by the S.I.N Campaign to create awareness about ending impunity in Nigeria.
The objectives of the workshop were to: identify challenges and obstacles to the effective coverage of impunity and discuss strategies for overcoming them; enlighten participating media practitioners about their responsibility to focus attention on the issue of impunity in Nigeria as part of their professional functions, duties and obligations.
Mrs. Ngozi Iwere, CLP’s Executive Director, in her presentation entitled Understanding Impunity, defined impunity as the total disregard for law, adding that reckless uncaring attitude for wrongdoing also constitutes impunity. Mrs. Iwere explained to the participating media practioners that the S.I.N Campaign was geared towards four thematic areas which are: Public Finance Management, Rule of Law, Electoral Process; and Patriotism, Ethics and Civic Responsibility. She called on journalists to buy into the Campaign so that the public can know what impunity is really about and contribute to curbing it.
MRA’s Executive Director, Mr. Edetaen Ojo, who was also at the training urged Journalists to use the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to report impunity. Mr. Ojo pointed out various ways the FOI Act can be used effectively in the fight against Impunity while emphasizing that this is part of the media social and legal responsibility. “There will be increased, more enlightened and more informed media reporting, debates and dialogue on the issue of impunity in Nigeria”, Mr. Ojo said as he urged the media to support the S.I.N campaign.
For more information on the campaign, kindly click here.