Covering conflicts and its reality

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2 months ago I got a surprising call from White House Correspondent and Senior International Correspondent for Today News Africa, #KristiPelzel# to speak on the abduction of dozens of students and staff in Kebbi. From her research, she discovered I am on ground and have covered several other abductions in the past. It was a pleasant surprise.

She was absolutely right, because we (the camera man and I) went in just as soon as news broke of the abduction from a federal government secondary school, Birnin Yauri, in Kebbi state- north of Nigeria. I was fortunate to be on ground to cover it.

I say fortune because considering how volatile these areas are, you would not find too many media houses putting in huge capital to send in their crew there.

And typically, our coverage went for days. But what struck me was that our coverage of this particular kidnap got international attention when White House Correspondent and Senior International Correspondent for Today News Africa, Kristi Pelzel reached out to me.

Part of my commitment as a journalist covering conflicts and for the most part abductions, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism, is the need to let the world into the sufferings of victims.

Every platform and opportunity I have got both locally and internationally is employed to be able to amplify the voices of those who suffer the most during these crisis/conflicts.

Whereas the Nigerian government is doing what it can, more needs to be done. Those affected by these mass abductions are human beings and a conscious effort must be made not to reduce them to mere figures and statistics

As a frontline correspondent, I can tell you for free that these people depend solely on the media or any of its semblance to tell their stories- you never know where help might come from.

Though tough, it is always rewarding to go to those places, be the voices, the ears and eyes of those who suffer and capture their stories for the world to hear and see.

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Amaka Okoye

Amaka Okoye

A seasoned and an award-journalist who has practiced both in and outside of Nigeria. She has covered varied beats but her forte is Conflict and Crisis Reporting. She majors in reporting terrorism, banditry and abductions in the Northern part of Nigeria.

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