Isa Gusau, Maiduguri: Over two hundred journalists working in Borno State have jointly procured and presented a full trailer, containing 630 bags of cement to Governor Kashim Shettima as part of their contributions to support ongoing rebuilding of communities destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in many parts of the State.
The journalists, who tasked themselves with minimum of five thousand naira each were organized by Borno State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ to support their host State as part of different activities lined up for the 2014 to 2017 combined Press Week of the NUJ in the State with the theme: “the role of the media in Post Conflict Rebuilding of communities and livelihoods in Northeast, Nigeria”.
The presentation was done on Friday at the Government House in Maiduguri, capital of the State.
The journalists said they decided to make personal contributions because they were satisfied with the Governor’s ongoing rebuilding efforts across the State and felt necessary to support with “a token that could be used in rebuilding a few out of over 5,000 classrooms destroyed by insurgents”. Th
“In line with the theme of our week which centres around advocacy for reconstruction of liberated and safe communities as well as livelihoods for victims of the insurgency, we tasked our members who are over hundred from Correspondents of over thirty print, broadcast and online media houses to workers at the State Radio and Television and those working with the NTA, the the Peace FM operated by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and journalists working under the State Ministry of Information.
Everyone us contributed a minimum of five thousand naira and a maximum of ten thousand naira. After collation, we arrived at buying a trailer of cement which we are donating to support your visible ongoing rebuilding of communities. We monitor and report all the rebuilding works and they are very encouraging” Babasheik Haruna, Borno chairman of the NUJ said before presenting the cement to Shettima.
An obviously appreciative Governor Kashim Shettima said he was shocked to receive such quantity of donation from journalists who fall amongst low income earners in Nigeria.
“We have some politicians who boasted of being billionaires but they haven’t made your kind of donation to support the ongoing rebuilding process. I cannot thank you enough. Some people may see five thousand naira as nothing but the persons who donated five thousand amongst you might have given ten percent of their salaries which is huge. Your gesture is shocking to me. But let me say that with or without this, the journalists in Borno State have always been the greatest contributors to the fight against Boko Haram, the handling of the humanitarian crisis and the ongoing rebuilding of not only Borno but indeed, the northeast.
It was journalists that made the world to know about the existence of the Boko Haram, their leadership and murderous activities. If media reports by journalists in Borno State had been taken seriously, this calamity could have been avoided. I remember that in June and July, 2009, one Newspaper published two interviews with the late Mohammed Yusuf and in those interviews, Yusuf threatened to launch a Jihad over the crash helmets incident between his followers and members of the 0peration FFlush.
After the death of Mohammed Yusuf in July, 2009, some sections of the media reported that Shekau wasn’t killed but the reports were dismissed. Again a year or so, later, the media reported Shekau’s resurgence, someone at helm of affairs, dismissed the report as propaganda. The media kept saying that Shekau was planning to wreck havoc on Borno but all these reports were ignored and today, here we are. The media in Borno State has been playing it’s role of informing the public, it is up to us as leaders, to make proper use of the information disseminated by the media” Governor Shettima said.