Int’l Womens Day: Group Partners Media Practitioners On Women Issues

By Nofisat Marindoti

A foremost women body in Nigeria, Al-Mu’minaat (The Believing Women) Organisation has formed a collaboration with media Organisations to ensure issues concerning women folks enjoy media prominence.

This is with a view to pushing such issues to the front burner of national discourse via adequate reportage and proper analyses of women affairs.

Speaking at a media seminar organised by the Professionals, an organ of Al Mu’minaat, a senior correspondent at The Nation newspaper, Tajudeen Adebanjo urged women to be more involved in non Governmental Organisations and human right activities to achieve their aims.

“You must carve a niche for yourselves and become a points of reference whenever issues of public concerns regarding women and in fact, general populace are brought to the broadcast medium for discuss.

“I also urge you (women) to brace up to fight your cause by making use of social media strength to present your grievances on issues by simply commenting on Facebook, Twitter handle or even the WhatsApp. It is high time you stopped expecting men to fight your cause for you.”

Adebanjo cited the issue of Firdaus Amasa as an infringement on the human rights of women but which did not enjoy women’s massive support because of religious bigotry and sectionalism.

“It could happen to your younger ones or your daughter’s who want to read Law in Nigeria in the future. So, why don’t you be passionate and speak up for these rights,” he said.

In his address, a seasoned journalist an a prominent writer, Elder Yinka Salaam called on women organisations to invest in the media to push their cause and pursue their cases to achieve their goals.

He said it was high time they corrected the erroneous belief that investing in the Media and Public Relations is a waste or an unworthy venture.

Salaam said the Media or Public Relations may not give immediate cash, but, it has the potentials to mobilise and win the people’s hearts and their wealth eventually.

“It is in recognition of power of the media that real politicians, big corporations and organizations, profitable or charitable, invest heavily in the media and will continue to, even when they run at loss,

“What better wealth can an organisation possess than the human resources? It is the same reason government, politicians and multinational companies invest heavily in the media and the same reason enjoy better media coverage and media mention today. We are all living witnesses that it really pays off for them,”” he stated.

The guest speaker appealed to the leaders of the various organizations, especially religious groups like Al Mu’minaat to take a paradigm shift from traditional preachings on morality and begin to give priority to less expensive but useful public or social services as: traffic control, portholes filling, clearing of highway bushes to allow road users see ahead, clearly, drainage clearing, facilitation/donation of wells or boreholes, construction of directional signposts, running extra-mural classes/adult literacy cum Quranic centres, regular visitation to hospitals, prison yards, and orphanage homes, media tour among others.

The Coordinator of The Professionals, Alhaja Jelilat Abdul-Hamed also noted that the entire life of Prophet Muhammad and his relationship with people was characterised by effective personal and public relations and his use of media was unrivalled.

“The rise of Islam came through conveying the message via the contemporary medium available. The life and times of the our Prophet portrays how the people of Makkah were invited to Islam by moral and pious conducts of the Prophet and his rightly guided followers.

“The melodious and inspiring recitation of the Qur’an also changed the hearts of even the fiercest opponents as many mediums were used to make the non-believers aware of the truth of the divine message. The Prophet (SAW) also sent men on horsebark to the rulers and kings of the neighbouring lands with scripts declaring his prophethood and inviting them to Islam.”

The Coordinator who remarked that Prophet Muhammad set a standard in Public Relations and the effective use of the media, stressed that until Muslims follow the prophetic footsteps in his best PR ever known and cultivate the habit of effective media management, it would be difficult for them to achieve their Daw’ah objectives.