The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has tasked the Nigerian media to promote transitional justice, especially in the currently insurgency-ridden northeast of Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu said so in Yola, Adamawa State during the Media Practitioners Training Program on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in North East Nigeria .
He said transitional justice would help speed up the healing process and provide victims and the community with opportunities for justice and reconciliation with returning ex-combatants.
Ojukwu, who was represented by NHRC Senior Human Rights Adviser and Project Coordinator, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna, said Nigerian journalists can play a vital role in promoting reconciliation, reintegration and transitional justice in Nigeria.
According to him, Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria recognizes the role of the media in promoting national cohesion and reconciliation.
He said: “The media remains a critical partner in promoting reconciliation and transitional justice in the North East, no effort should be spared to build the capacity of media professionals to assume and play this role effectively. .
“The pilot project aimed to initiate a community-led process for non-judicial transitional justice and reconciliation as a foundation for post-conflict reintegration and recovery in the North East.
Ojukwu noted that the success of post-conflict programs would depend on strategic advocacy and communication.
He said this would encourage communities to embrace reconciliation as the foundation for recovery and development.
“The media play a crucial role in disseminating information, raising awareness and forming public opinion. In recognition of this important role, the media is therefore an essential partner in promoting transitional justice and reconciliation in the northeast.
“No effort should be spared to build the capacity of media professionals to assume and fulfill this role effectively,” Ojukwu said.
According to him, the training of journalists in the states affected by the insurgency should, among other things, strengthen the capacities of media professionals on the concept of transitional justice and its imperatives for the post-conflict situation in the Northeast as well as create a network of media professionals on transitional justice.
In their separate remarks, the Solicitor General of Adamawa, Mr. Samuel Yaumande and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reintegration and Humanitarian Services of Adamawa, Ms. Aishatu Umar, said that the program is in line with the state government’s desire to return all IDPs. From people to their diverse communities.