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Fmr Kaduna Governor, Makarfi, others receive NUJ Meritorious Award

…Urges more efforts on security.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi

Former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has received Meritorious Award for Peace Building, from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) correspondent chapel, Kaduna State. 

The award of honour was given to Senator Makarfi on Tuesday in Kaduna at a Seminar and Award ceremony with a theme: ‘Tackling Security Challenges: The Role Of Media,’ organised by the Union.

The award is in recognition of the Senator’s numerous contributions to peace building across the state during his administration as former Governor.

During his tenure, the state witnessed massive infrastructural developments in both rural and urban areas as he doggedly and successfully campaigned for peace and harmony in the complex multi-ethnic and multi-religious state.

Senator Makarfi had been founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja, before becoming Governor of Kaduna State. 

He also served as Chairman Senate Committee on Finance for eight years. He resolved to remain in the PDP to rescue it at its hour of dire need. Through his commitment and dexterity, he brought the party back to life at a time many had given it up for dead.

In recognition of his work, the Nigeria Union of Journalists believed was enough evidence of Senator Makarfi’s “democratic resoluteness and passion for Nigeria, borne out of the need to build a strong, united, prosperous and resourceful nation,” and for which the award was fitting.

Distinguished Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, who was represented by his former commissioner for budget and planning, Alhaji Shehu Adamu, urged Kaduna State Government to do more on security.

Also delivering his lecture at the seminar, Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, enjoined the media to unite the people with a shared hope and vision through their reportage at this critical stage of national development.

By so doing, he said, Nigeria could become a thriving nation that celebrates her diversity as the most compelling reason to come together. Journalists, he said, must exhibit sincerity, honesty and adhering to facts, devoid of pursuing divisive agendas, which are threats to common good.

“As members of this elite group – the media – we must ditch the divisive narratives sold for decades by desperate power mongers. We can no longer buy into denigration and dehumanization. We must not buy into ethno-centric politics and narrow sentiments,” Aruwan stated.

The Commissioner further stressed the need for the practitioners to engage in what he termed as “responsible journalism” that is truly concerned with a balanced and truthful account of events.

He also advised journalists to eschew judgmental representations and describe reality without exaggeration and sensationalism.

“In this era,” he emphasized, “the media can play a crucial role in building peace, through effective peace journalism. Peace journalists can investigate the causes behind a conflict and the true motives of the participants, while making sure to humanize all victims of the conflict.

“Journalists should not exploit loss and suffering through selective condemnations, but make sure that the reporting is balanced. Peace journalism should be focused on preventing further escalation of conflict,” he said.

The Commissioner assured that Government on its part will continue to collaborate with security agencies and engage productively with citizens to address security challenges across the state.

Mr Aruwan, who commended the conveners for acknowledging his outstanding performance in the management of insecurity and insurgency in the State, re-echoed the need for journalists to be alive to their responsibility towards peace and security.

Other recipients of award of Excellence include Honorable Samuel Aruwan, who bagged Meritorious award for outstanding performance in Management of Security and Insurgency in Kaduna State; Chief Anthony Hassan was honored with Meritorious award for outstanding performance in Human Capacity Development, particularly in education; Mr. Jackson Ukuevo bagged Meritorious award for outstanding performance in Private Sector as well as Contribution to Humanity.

In attendance at the ceremony were representative of NDLEA, D. David (Deputy Commander NDLEA); representative of Road Safety, Hauwa Abdu; representative of Emir of Zazzau, Dan Wazirrin Zazzau Hakimin Gabasawa, Alhaji Datti, among others.

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