DFID-PERL parleys Kano civil society, media and social media influencers

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The UK Department for International Development-funded Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (DFID-PERL) programme Saturday hosted an interactive session with members of the civil society, media and social media influencers in Kano, aimed at networking, experience sharing as well as partnership on positive use of the social media.

PERL, a 5-year governance program brings together governments and citizens groups to collectively address governance challenges for improved delivery of pro-poor public goods and services; the interactive session was meant to address challenges to do with quality delivery of information in the traditional media and social media.

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The event was attended by relevant stakeholders including the leadership of the Kano chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), media experts, public relations officers from government ministries departments and agencies (MDAs), news reporters from print and online newspapers as well as representatives of various civil society organizations.

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Narrating his experience on positive use of social media, Rabiu Shamma, chairman, Kano Youth Coalition for Advocacy and Development (KAYCAD) said they had a friends group on Facebook under whose umbrella they partnered the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) to train youths on the use of ICT tools to monitor hate speech on social media towards promoting peace and religious tolerance.

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Another participant, Abba Ibrahim Gwale, a reporter for LEADERSHIP newspaper narrated how he also used his Facebook page to successfully secure financial support for a boy who had lost his eye and a young lady who had got a suitor but her parents could not marry her off.

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Participants at the session said lack of rules and regulatory framework governing social media use, unlike the conventional media, was what users of social media platforms exploit to propagate hate speeches leading to religious intolerance and violence. Thus, they called for stronger partnership among stakeholders through seminars and workshops on positive use of social media.

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