HumAngle welcomed the third cohort of its Accountability fellowship programme in its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, yesterday. The cohort comprised nine young writers and advocates from the country’s northeastern region. They were selected from Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states.
The fellowship, which was kickstarted in 2022 with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, is part of a project to interrogate and investigate security funding and accountability issues as they relate to the humanitarian, insecurity, and development sectors in northeast Nigeria.
Over the course of a few days, the fellows will be trained in person on important sessions relevant to the focus of the fellowship. Afterwards, they will return to their respective states to implement the fellowship activities and carry out their investigative reports.
Day one of the in-person training began with a descriptive session that took the fellows through the program’s focus and what it entails. The fellowship coordinator, Isaac Oritogun, gave welcome remarks, through which he showed excitement about the fellows’ presence, commending them for remaining passionate and patient, especially through challenges that arose from airlines cancelling some of their flights unannounced.
“Well done, we are so happy to be with you here,’’ he said.
During the next session, HumAngle’s Managing Editor, Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu, took the fellows through the process of reporting for HumAngle, she gave an insight into what reporting should look like at HumAngle and what is expected of the fellows during the process of their writing reports.
Ijeoma Okereke Adagba of the Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) led the session on Budget Analysis and Tracking; taking the fellows through the processes surrounding Budget and Participatory Budgeting. She highlighted to the fellows the need to “Pay attention to the thin line between allocated budgets and released funds because documentation can be tricky.”
Nathaniel Bivan, HumAngle’s Features Editor, joined the session virtually and made an excellent presentation on Solution Journalism (SOJO) and why it is important to watch out for solutions. “Focus on effectiveness because good intentions are not quite enough evidence in Solutions journalism,” he said.
Afterwards, the cohort welcomed the presence of Dr Kole Shettima, Director of the Nigeria Office of the MacArthur Foundation, who came to honour the Cohort 2 graduands and congratulate them on their outstanding performance over the last 6 months of their engagement. He also welcomed the newly engaged fellows and hoped to see more of them in the near future.
He added that “the aim is not only on the research and reporting work but the impact it makes in the society”. Two of the fellows emerged the best during the program; Saduwo Banyawa from Adamawa State won the privilege to work as an intern throughout her NYSC program at HumAngle while Abubakar Mukhtar Abba from Borno State was awarded a Permanent Freelance opportunity at HumAngle. All other graduates are welcome to bring in their stories for publishing as they did wonderfully well.
To round up the day’s session, Chigozie Victor, Gender reporter at HumAngle, led a session on SGBV and how to detect and report such situations. During the discussion, she made an intensive explanation of what and what not to do during interviews and such. ‘Be survivor sensitive while reporting, it shouldn’t be about your interest but that of the survivor.’
Lastly, for a closing remark, Ahmad Salkida, CEO of HumAngle, addressed the outgoing cohort and the incoming cohort, calling on them to be dedicated and truthful in their work. He further said, “Together we can do great things.”
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