February 14 is celebrated the world over as St. Valentine Day. However, Nigerian media practitioners have declared that day as National Media Peace Day.
The practitioners rose from a two-day meeting in Abuja on Saturday with the declaration of Feb. 14 as the National Media Peace Day.
Coming two days to the country’s 2019 General Elections, the theme of the maiden event, is: “Nigeria Media Peace Day: Think Election, Think Peace”.
The declaration which was read by the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Christopher Isiguzo, was signed by practitioners from the print, broadcast and the new media and aimed toward promoting violence-free 2019 elections.
The meeting was organised by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), an international non-governmental organisation committed to ending violent conflicts globally.
The participants expressed deep concern about the proliferation of small arms, thugs, hate speech and fake news ahead of the elections and called on media practitioners and political actors to exercise restraint.
The meeting also drew attention to the fate of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups participating in the electioneering process.
They urged the election management bodies as well as other relevant authorities, to provide all the facilities needed for them to exercise their franchise.
The participants further enjoined all stakeholders and actors in the process to put Nigeria first in all their actions in the build-up to the 2019 general elections and beyond.
They pledged to disseminate news items, feature stories, analysis and talk shows that would promote peace as a prerequisite to development.