LECTURE ORGANIZED BY CITAD AT MAMBAYYA HOUSE ON SATURDAY 23RD NOVEMBER, 2013
By Sagir Ado and Nura Maaji
Being the only medium of communication that provides people with the opportunity unprecedented in the history of humanity, of creating public spaces to share debate and promote issues of concern affecting their lives. Social Media is so strategic and indispensable to the extent that for PEACE CAMPAIGN to be adequately pursued, one must aliened him or herself with the platform of a particular social media enterprise. Due to the importance of the Social Media for the promotion of Peace, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has instituted a special program for peace building using social media. The aim of the program is to provide an alternative platform to build and promote peace. Series of activities are designed to achieve this objective; one of this is to organize a public lecture on ICTs in peace building, at least once every quarter.
The first quarterly lecture was conducted on Saturday 23rd, November, 2013 at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Mambayya House, BUK, Kano. The lecture which titled “Use of Social Media for Peace Campaign” was presented by an ICT expert. Prof. Abdurrashid Garba of Department of Education Bayero University, Kano and has more than 100 organizations, ICT professionals, academicians, individuals, etc in attendance.
In his presentation, Prof. Abdulrashid Garba highlighted how social media can be used to promote peace. He said that peace is everybody’s business and it is now time to use all available means to promote peace. He added that culture of good governance can only be in secure and peaceful environment. He then differentiated between Negative and Positive peace. Saying that Negative peace is the absence of direct violence while Positive peace refers to a social condition in which exploitation is minimized or eliminated and in which there is neither overt nor the more subtle phenomenon of underlying structural violence. It denotes the continuing presence of an equitable and just social order, as well as ecological harmony.
Prof. Abdulrashid Garba expressed dismay in his lecture due to the fact that major victims of violence are women and the youth. He then listed various intervention efforts in place for restoration of Peace i.e. Law enforcement, military, spiritual political, educational, Vocational, etc. Though Intervention alone is insufficient, he added.
The guest speaker also argued that, in the face of numerous problems and challenges bedeviling Nigeria, the country need to be restructured politically, economically, educationally and socially. Prof. Garba noted that an outreach counseling program for peace promotion should be pursued. Such a program, he said must have a defined objectives, a target group as well as timeline, among others.
The quarterly lecture was under the chairmanship of Malam Bala Abdullahi Gaduwama, the Executive Director Network for Justice. Malam Bala Gaduwama commended the effort of the Professor Abdurrashid and reminded the audience the importance of using social media for peace campaign in line with the outreach counseling program outline by the guest speaker. He then commended CITAD for organizing the lecture. In his words “I commend CITAD for organizing this timely lecture and for selecting an expert like Prof. Abdurrashid, who taught me a lot of social media applications as a man to present the lecture”.
Nura Iro Ma’aji Social Media Activist and CISLAC’s Program Officer, Kano Office and Peter Hassan Tijjani National Coordinator Network for Empowerment and Development were the discussants at the lecture. In their separate contributions, Nura Iro Ma’aji corroborated the guest speaker by recommending that there was also the need for us, as social groups to create a network of peace ambassadors with a view to develop a conflict assessment system technique so as to be reporting on a particular page of a social media, incidences that may lead to possible eruption of conflicts as well as human rights issues. The other discussant Peter Hassan commended the guest speaker and further suggested that issues concerning call for the restructuring of Nigeria should form part of the issues to be debated at a national conference.
Some of the participants that commented at the lecture include Prof. Musa of BUK, Dr Sa’idu Dukawa, who represented the Chairman Kano State Council of Ulama Malam Ibrahim Khalil, the General Manager Freedom Radio, Umar Sa’idu Tudun Wada, the representative of C.A.N Youth Wing, Mr. Samuel, representative of Women Associations, etc
The participants were very happy and excited with the lecture. They commended CITAD for organizing the lecture and requested the organizers to inform and invite them during the next coming event.