On 22nd August 2015, the Centre for information Technology and Development (CITAD) in its efforts of promoting PEACE CAMPAIGN organized one day workshop on the use of social media for peace campaign for student leaders in Katsina State. The aim of the training which held at the Muhammad Sunusi II ICT Centre, Alqalam University, Katsina was to train student leaders, on using social media to promote peace campaign in their schools and communities. It was attended by 26 people from various tertiary institutions in the state.
The workshop started with a welcomed address delivered by Mal Huzaifa Yakub Musa, CITAD Online Apps Officer. In his address Huzaifa Yakubu Musa drew the attention of the participants to the fact without peace, there would be no developed and that youth in particular have great responsibility in ensuring that we mobilize our communities to strive to main peace. He said this workshop was to enhance the capacity of the members of the Students for Peace (S4P) in their efforts to use social media to campaign for peace in their campuses and communities.
In the first session, Kamilu Isa Ahmed, Programmes Assistant (Peace) introduced the CITAD4PEACE Project he said CITAD had been implementing with support from MacArthur Foundation whose key objective was to sue social media to mobilize citizens and stakeholders to the need to work for peace restoration especially in the northern parts of the country. He explained the different components of the project which included various training programmes, establishment of peace platforms such as the students for peace (S4P), working with students in secondary schools, peace messages dissemination in the social media, tackling contemporary crises such as cattle rustling and Boko Haram insurgency and monitoring and countering of hate speech has been a drivers for conflicts In the society.
To lay the foundation for the workshop Kamilu also did a presentation on Volunteerism and Civic Responsibility. This was to underline thefact that activities of the S4P are entirely voluntary and that it was important for the participants to understand and locate volunteerism as a core value in the discharge of their civic responsibility.
The first technical session was on Understanding Social Media in the context of Peace Campaign. This was also facilitated by Kamilu Isa Ahmed. The presentation explained to the students that also social media could be used to spread rumors and hate speech; it is also an important tool to spread messages of peace and love. He explained that because it is reach, speed, and cost effectiveness, social media was very important tool for communication and campaign. It was necessary that youth understand how to taken of its advantages to spread the message of peace and campaign for peace building in the society.
The second technical session focused on the three major social media platforms namely YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. This was facilitated by Shehu Usman Salihu, Programme Assistant (Technical) who took the participants taken through the various platforms of setting up accounts, managing them and sending and managing messages.
After lunch the first session was hands on training on the YouTube, Twitter and Facebook with participants doing various assignments to enhance their skills in the use of these platforms. This was following by a session on Managing Students Peace Clubs during which Kamilu Isa Ahmed shared experience with students on how to manage the club in their schools.
The following session was an interactive one in which the participants were led to come up with some platforms for theircampaign. They was done in groups first. The groupsthen reported as follows:
- The participants from Umaru Musa ‘Yar Adua University Katsina (UMYUK) (Umyukstudents4Peace proposed the use of instagram, Facebook page and Twitter
- Those from Al Qalam University Katsina(AUK)which was only established at the training proposed to set up a Facebook platforms and a twitter handle after the workshop
The participants agreed to sensitize other members of the clubs and promised to come up with innovations programmes that will promote peace campaign in Katsina state and the nation at large .they also promised to work hand in hand with CITAD even after their graduation. The science students among them promised that during their student industrial workshop and experience scheme (SIWES) they will promote the use of social media to promote peace any where they were posted to and in their respective communities as well while the students from faculty of education promised to promote peace during their teaching practice (TP) wherever they were posted to by establishing peace clubs In the schools.