From AMEDU JOSEPH, Lokoja
Preparatory to the November 16th, 2019 off-cycle governorship election in Kogi State, Search for Common Ground, an International NGO working on peace building and conflict transformation has trained 30 influential media and new media practitioners on common ground journalism.
The two days training had the objective of 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 elections in Kogi State.
Highlights of the training are presentations and brainstorming sessions on media in conflict reporting, mainstream media, social media, giving voice to marginalized groups and responsible media coverage of elections.
Other sessions of the training featured hate speech trends, development of peace messages, early warning towards preventing electoral violence and building media synergies.
The common ground Journalism 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.
The Electoral Empowerment of Civil Society Project (EECSP) Consortium is implementing a five-year initiative to: 1) improve impartial observation, accurate reporting on, and recording of election vote totals by domestic electoral observers during and after the 2015 election cycle; 2) improve management within Nigerian partner CSOs; and 3) increase participation by marginalized groups in Nigerian political processes.
The Consortium includes the National Democratic Institute (NDI) as the lead partner, World Learning (WL), Search for Common Ground (SFCG), and the Center for Democratic Development – Ghana (CDD-Ghana).
Search’s intervention in Kogi State is contributing to Increased Participation by Marginalized Groups in Nigerian Political Processes and special focus on Violence Mitigation for the 2019 Off- Cycle Governorship Polls in the Kogi and Bayelsa State in November 2019.
Search for Common Ground (Search) launched its programs in Nigeria in 2004. Now in 2019, the country program has offices in Abuja, Jos, Maiduguri, Yola, Damaturu and Warri.
We work with partners in target states of the country to support peaceful resolution of conflict. Each program is adapted to specific local context and conflicts, and all apply common ground tools from our toolbox.
Search has established a permanent presence in Abuja as an operational base and all our Nigeria offices are currently supporting a host of programs with activities that include capacity building, dialogues, peace architecture, media programming, participatory theatre and collaborative joint activities.