The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has charged Nigerian media to promote Transitional Justice particularly in the North-east of Nigeria that is currently bedeviled by insurgency.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu stated this in Yola, Adamawa state, during the training programme for Media Practitioners on Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in North-east Nigeria.
He said Transitional Justice would aid in accelerating the process of healing and offer both victims and community opportunities for justice and reconciliation with returning ex-combatants.
Ojukwu who was represented by the Senior Human Right Adviser NHRC and the Project Coordinator, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna, said Nigerian Journalists can play a critical 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 media in promoting national cohesion and reconciliation.
He said: “Media remains an essential partner in promoting reconciliation and transitional justice in the North East, no effort should be spared in building the capacity of media professionals to embrace and perform this role effectively.
“The Pilot Project was to initiate community-led process for nonjudicial transitional justice and reconciliation as a foundation for reintegration and post conflict recovery in the North East.”
Ojukwu noted that the success of the post conflict programmes would depend on strategic advocacy and communication.
He said this would ginger communities to embrace reconciliation as a foundation for recovery and development.
“The media plays a crucial role in information dissemination, awareness creation and the shaping of public opinions. In recognition of this important role, the media is therefore, an essential partner in promoting transitional justice and reconciliation in the north-east.
“No effort should be spared in building the capacity of media professionals to embrace and perform this role effectively,” Ojukwu said.
According to him, the training for journalists in the insurgency affected states is expected to, among others, build the capacity of media professionals on the concept of transitional justice and its imperatives for Post-Conflict in the North-East 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 Adamawa Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reintegration and Humanitarian Services, Mrs Aishatu Umar, said the programme is line the state government desire to return all internally Displaced Persons to their various communities