Savanah Centre Council to Combat Hate Speeches and Ensure Media Accountability
The Inaugural session of the Council on Democracy, Stability and Media Accountability Project (DESMAP), established by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), took place on 2 December, 2016 at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The 14-Member DESMAP Council include, Hon. Justice Mohammed Uwais, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Ms. Asma’u Joda, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Mr. Sony Irabor, Mr. Segun Adeniyi, Ms. Joke Silva, Alh. Wada Maina, Mr. Jude Ilo, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, Mr. Samson Itodo, Ms. Yemi Ademolekun and Dr. Tom Adaba.
The mandate of DESMAP include addressing the administrative and legal gaps that exist in the extant body of laws and codes of ethics on journalism and media practice, especially as it relates to the propagation of dangerous and hate speeches; and how to strengthen the regulatory frameworks on media and journalism practice as well as improve capacity of the agencies to check and sanction the broadcast and dissemination of dangerous and hate speeches.
During the interactive session between the Council members and media practitioners, the need for media accountability and avoidance of hate speeches was variously underlined. Several journalists hinted that those who own and control the media dictate the tune, and that when media houses owe their staff wages, they create room for unsavory conducts. In his intervention, Mr Oseloka H. Obaze a policy and governance expert urged Nigerian media practitioners to combat the "growing rampancy of false news and checkmate the excesses of social media, by being accountable and ensuring the veracity of the news they publish."
DESMAP Council has eighteen months to complete its assignment.