Assessing the Role of Information Gatekeepers in Conflict Prevention in Nasarawa State

Justina Anjiode Kotso, Ezra Shiloba Gbaje (Ph.D) & Abdullahi Ibrahim Musa (Ph.D)

Abstract


This study explores the role of gatekeepers in conflict prevention in Nasarawa State.  To achieve this, the study raised two main objectives: identification of how gatekeepers help in the prevention of conflicts in Nasarawa state, ascertaining the perception of community members on their gatekeepers. The research used the network gatekeeping theory and a qualitative approach, a case study method was used to investigate the phenomena, with the study purposively selecting five (5) gatekeepers (community/opinion leaders) from each of the five communities and two (2) gated (community members) from each of the five communities. Data was collected with the help of a semi semi-structured and coded using qualitative research software Nvivo. The findings of the study reveal that: Time and immediacy of actions were considered by gatekeepers as paramount in conflicts prevention. It also shows that some community members view their leaders as prejudiced, selfish and not having their concerns at heart. it was concluded that Government should de-emphasize the over-dependence on gatekeepers, and reach out to these newly empowered gatekeepers (gated) also leaders (gatekeepers) should endeavor to accept technology and learn to use it in the information production and dissemination process, with active interactions with the members of their community particularly the youth. Free flow of accurate and timely information within the community should be encouraged as this curtails and reduces false information and rumors which has been identified as a source of conflict within the community. 


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