Few days ago I got an email from the prestigious Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism [PTCIJ]
to share my experiences as a conflict correspondent who has literally covered all the major mass abductions and banditry in Nigeria from December of 2020 till date, and to bring in a first hand account and perspective to this high profile Dialogue.
It was such an honour to be in that room with Nigeria’s high profile security personnel, top notch professors and doctors from the Academia and representative from international organization.
The dialogue session was themed ‘Strengthening Media and Security Collaboration for Social Peace’.
I took a lot out of that session. I particularly spoke on the humanity of the people affected by conflicts and crisis and the consciousness to not reduce their humanity to numbers and statistics.
It is also delightful to me that security parastatals are interested in working closely with the media for an effective coverage at all times.
And it is in this room that l got the book Distortion by Lady E Ejiro Umukoro.
She gave me the warmest hug and said “every time I see you, my heart goes out to you”.
Many people have called and described me as “fearless” and I still shudder each time I hear that.
Today, I heard that, I saw that in the eyes of all those in the room as they listened to me recount my experiences of being an on ground correspondent reporting conflicts and crisis.
I felt the positive energies sent to me from that room and the discussants at that Dialogue.
I am not sure how I do these things but I am entirely grateful and committed to telling the stories that matter and the stories of the people in conflict regions as well.
There are so many people out there depending on our eyes, ears, feet and voices to be theirs and tell their stories. It’s a privilege to occupy that role.