Nigerian media practitioners rose from a two-day meeting in Abuja on Saturday with the declaration of February 14 as the National Media Peace Day.
The theme of the maiden event, coming two days to the 2019 general elections, is: “Nigeria Media Peace Day: Think Election, Think Peace”.
Practitioners from the print, broadcast and the new media signed the declaration, read by the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Christopher Isiguzo, and geared toward promoting violence-free 2019 elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting was organised by Search for Common Ground, SFCG, an international non-governmental organisation committed to ending violent conflicts globally.
Expressing apprehension about the proliferation of small arms, thuggery, hate speech and fake news ahead of the elections, the participants called on media practitioners and political actors to exercise caution.
The meeting also drew attention to the fate of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups participating in the electioneering process.
They urged relevant authorities, including election management bodies, 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.