wrkshopThe American University of Nigeria (AUN) last week conducted a workshop on Peace Journalism for 25 National and local journalists in Nigeria.

The Journalists who were drawn from various media organizations – including online, print and electronic media, also joined an AUN delegation on a food distribution mission to internally displaced persons at the headquarters of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam in Jimeta as part of the workshop’s practical peace reporting assignment.

The workshop’s lead facilitator, Prof. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob emphasized that peace journalism demands of journalists a greater sense of responsibility in reporting conflicts. 

ambassdor rolfPeaceful negotiation, patience and long-term thinking may hold the key to resolving intractable conflicts, the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria Rolf Ree has said.

Speaking at the 12th Diplomatic Lecture series of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Thursday, Ambassador Ree emphasized that it is always important to keep the door open for peaceful negotiations as “the rebels of today may become the loyalists of tomorrow”. 

Referring to Norway’s experience in brokering several ceasefire agreements, ranging from the Oslo Peace Accord to negotiations between Columbian government and FARC rebels, the Norwegian diplomat noted that in every conflict there is always an opportunity for a neutral party to broker peaceful settlements.

jacobResearch by Professor Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob of the School of Arts and Sciences has appeared in the latest issue of War & Society, an international peer-reviewed journal.   Based on research carried out with part-funding from the British Institute in Eastern Africa, the paper,  “Transforming Conflicts with Information: Impacts of UN Peace Radio Programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo”, examines the nature and impacts of elements of the UN Mission’s public information operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A matched randomization technique was used to assign people in four towns in the DRC to listen to selected radio programs on the UN mission radio, Radio Okapi.  After 13 months of exposure, listeners participated in a range of focus group discussions to talk about the causes and ways of ending the war in eastern DRC.

The women’s wing of the Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI), an Islamic aid group, has honored President Ensign in     recognition of her selfless service to society.

National Director of JNI, Hajia Hadiza Mohammed, presented a certificate of merit and a plaque award to Professor Ensign for her community development and humanitarian activities in Adamawa State. The occasion ended a two-day seminar on “Strengthening the Capacity of Muslim Women Participation for Peace and Development towards Nation Building.” It was organized by JNI at Capital Primary School, Jimeta, Yola.

President Ensign, an American, was described by the organizers as a native of Bole, AUN’s host community which made her an honorary citizen in 2012.  The President was recognized for the establishment of Adamawa Peace

President Ensign has reiterated the University’s commitment to positively impacting the society. This reassurance came on Friday, November 14, during the Do Not Turn a Blind Eye seminar organized by the Society for Ethics and Leadership, a student club.

President Ensign spoke on peace, and why the University cofoounded the Adamawa Peace Initiative. In her words, “Peace is food, water, shelter, and hope.” She emphasized that to have peace, one need not turn a blind eye to anything. “We are all in the midst of this, trying to make a difference.”

She said the API started following an industrial wide strike that paralyzed the country in January of 2012. “Out here it was very quiet… There were no planes… The country shut down.”

The American University of Nigeria recently played host to the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Hans-Rudolph Hodel. He delivered his lecture on “Democracy in Switzerland: Federalism within the Swiss Confederation.” The Library Auditorium which was the venue of the event was filled with various people comprising students, faculty and staff of AUN, as well as some distinguished guests.

Ambassador Hodel also serves as the Ambassador to Chad and Niger. He holds a Doctoral degree from the University of St. Gallen with a very engaging diplomatic career. He has served in many positions of international repute which gave him the opportunity to explore much of Africa having worked as Ambassador and Head of Mission of Swiss Confederation to Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Outside Africa, he has served as Ambassador to Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua.

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