The Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, has suggested that given the present security challenges in the country, members of the National and States Assemblies, as well as those appointed into public offices, should take three months recess and use that period to hold town hall/village square meetings at the grassroots level to underscore the essence of peace and security in Nigeria.
Ayakoroma, who stated this in his address at the Institute’s Quarterly National Media Workshop for Arts Wrıters and Edıtors, with the theme, “Propagatıng Peace and Securıty through the Medıa: Agenda for Arts Wrıters and Edıtors,” which took place at the Lecture Theatre, Nıgerıan Instıtute for Internatıonal Affaırs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomı Street, Vıctorıa Island, Lagos, observed that unfortunately, the high level of inscurity will not afford them the opportunity to carry out this assignment.
The ES said it was as a result of the increasing level of insecurity that NICO thought it neccessary to interface with the Media: “especially with journalists on the Arts desk, who are responsible for effecting positive attitudinal change through the propagation of the programmes and actitivies of government MDAs in the culture sector.”
Continuing, he averred that in view of the critical importance of the media to the development of any nation, the interface with the media had become imperative in sensistizing the citzenry to their role in addressing the problem, and that the contributions of journalists on the culture desk was critical at this moment in time: “The National Media Workshop is organized by NICO qaurterly and it is designed as a platform for robust interaction between NICO and the media practitioners especially arts writers and editors. We appreciate that if NICO’s mandate of harnessing Nigeria’s culture to effect a sense of cultural direction and relationship to meet the challenges of social integration, unity, peace, as well as national development, is to be achieved, the Institute would need to have a meaningful interface with the media.”
Ayakoroma recalled other events by NICO in pursuance of peace and security, as well as cultural orientation: “Only recently, NICO orgainzed a 2-day National Conference on “Culture, Peace and National Security: The Role of our Tradtional Rulers and Local Government Chairmen,” to reawaken and re-orientate them on their role in sustaining peace in their domains. It was successful as over 150 traditional rulers and more than 50 local government chairmen attended. İn addition, NICO organized a 3-day National Workshop on “Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity,” in fulfilment of one of its mandates of training cultural officers, who would be grounded in Nigerian cultural practices.”
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Prince Yemisi Shyllon, stated that the Media Workshop could not have come at a more auspicious time, when insecurity had become a matter of serious concern, adding that, “it would create awareness in the public on matters concerning security. I commend NICO for sustaining this wonderful initiative since it started in 2010. The involvement of the media as participants in the workshop underscores NICO’s recognition of the primary responsibility of the media in educating, informing and enlightening Nigerians on various facets of our national life, including peace and national security.”
The papers delivered were, “Media Ethics And Security Reporting: Agenda For Media Practitioners,” by Professor Femi Shaka; “Why Have You Stopped Asking Questions?” by Jahman Anikulapo, and “Propagatıng Peace and Securıty through the Medıa: Agenda for Arts Wrıters and Edıtors,” by Ben Tomoloju.
The event was attended by High Chief Owhetou Ahumbe II (JP), the Agaloto of Badagry, who represented Oba Akran of Badagry, as Royal Father of the Day, a foremost filmmaker in Nollywood, Teco Benson, Directors in NICO, Barr. Abayomi Oyelola, mni, Prince Bamidele Olusa, Mrs. Brigitte Yerima, the SA to ES, Mr. Nelson Campbell, and the Assistant Director (Protocol), Mr. Alex Omijie, a former Editor of The Punch, Mr. Chris Mammah, Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Ijaw National Affairs, Bayelsa State, Dr. Felix Tuodolo, the Director of BEETA Universal Arts Foundation, Miss Bikiya Graham-Douglas, and two former students of Dr. Ayakoroma at the University of Port Harcourt, Mr. Chris Orioha and Miss Franca Kembradikumo Akpi, among others.
Arts Wrıters and Edıtors were in attendance, include Sola Balogun (The Sun), Chuka Nnabuife (Deputy Editor, National Compass), Ozolua Uhakeme (The Nation), Adenrele Niyi (National Mirror), Terh Agbeh (National Mirror), Tony Okuyeme (National Compass), Bridget Onochie (The Guradian), Matthew Ayiola (Radio Nigeria), Onyinye Nwangwugwu (Champion), Ijeoma Ezieke (National Mirror), among others.