Kanempress Digital Hub has held a two-day capacity-building workshop for journalists in Borno State on the ethics and technicalities of reporting historical sites and monuments, as well as the potentials and opportunities in the Lake Chad Region, with a focus on Borno and Yobe states in North-eastern Nigeria.
Welcoming participants at the opening day of the programme, President and Founder of Kanempress Digital Hub, Ibrahim Mustapha, charged them to start writing analyses and investigative reports on the numerous challenges bedeviling not only the historical sites and monuments but also on the many other good things and the resilience of the Lake Chad Region, saying the region is not only about Boko Haram but many other good things.
The guest speaker on day one, Dr Nasir Abba Aji, said there was need for the government to pay more attention to the issue of monuments and other historical heritage, pointing out this will in no small way boost the socio-economic aspect of the country.
Mr. Daniel Ishaya, manager of Rabih House Dikwa, said if the government can channel enough resources to the region, it can boost tourism and will create a multimillion-dollar industry in the country. He disclosed that they at the National Commission for Museums and Monuments are doing their best toward discovering ancient monuments that will break old records.
Borno, and indeed the Lake Chad region, is reputed to have a significant number of heritage that will help to reshape the history of the world. The number of scholarly books and other wonders of Borno is such that even Timbuktu cannot override the legacy of the Kamen Borno Empire. Borno has a diplomatic relationship with the then world power, Turkey.
Professor Khalifa Dikwa also re-emphasised that the Lake Chad region and indeed Borno and Yobe are prominent places where those who know what it contains cannot joke with it. He said government has done its best, but there is still more to the issue.
Prof. Dikwa said Borno is a home of historical legacy. Researchers from Germany and other western countries are eager to come and explore more historical legacy. With the support of the government, research institutions, non-governmental organizations, traditional institutions, and other stake holders, there will be a huge discovery of not only local and national monuments, but also international ones. According to him, “We have presented several papers in relation to the potentialities of the region. Surely, collective efforts are going to be made in order to discover more historical heritage and monuments.”
Dr Zanna Hassan Boguma, in his own paper, explained that the Lake Chad region, which consists of Borno, Yobe, and other places, is rich in everything great and the land can grow anything. He concluded that the land of the Lake Chad is exceptionally fat.
According to him, over forty million people are beneficiaries of the waters of the region. He said the oldest canoe in Africa, the Dafuna Canoe, was discovered in Yobe State. He said there was a need for the government, traditional institutions, and other stakeholders to work together to explore the many ancient monuments and heritage sites that will aid in understanding the rich history of Borno in particular, and the Lake Chad region in general.
Kanempress DigitalHub, an independent Borno and Lagos-based news platform, held the workshop under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity, and Accountability (CMEDIA) Project, an initiative of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) supported by the MacArthur Foundation.