The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has described the recent attack at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna by gunmen as a worrisome dimension to insecurity in the country.
They called on government at all levels to be more proactive and creative in tackling insecurity, and in discharging their constitutional duty of securing lives and property in the country.
In a communique made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday in Abuja, the Guild acknowledged efforts by the government to achieve better results in tackling the nation’s security challenges but maintained that much more needs to be done.
The communique jointly signed by the president, NuGE, Mustapha Isah and general Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, also announced the 17th All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC) scheduled for October 21 and 22, 2021 in Abuja, saying it will focus on the current security challenges in the nation, with the theme “Media In Times Of Crisis: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus.”
According to the Guild: “We acknowledge efforts by the federal government to achieve better results in tackling the nation’s security challenges, but the August 24 compromise of the security of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Afaka, Kaduna State, by gunmen is a worrisome dimension to insecurity.
“We call on the government to be more proactive and creative in the fight against insecurity, and in carrying out its constitutional duty of securing life and property in the country.”
The umbrella body of all editors in Nigeria urged proactive measures to arrest the spate of banditry and kidnap for ransom, even as they noted that the acts have continued to occur in some parts of the country, in spite of the continued onslaught by security forces against the perpetrators.
Further, the NGE highlighted the constitutional role of the media in holding government officials accountable to the people, while noting that it has a duty of providing an enabling environment for the media to perform its role devoid of intimidation, with journalists having the responsibility of ensuring they operate in line with the ethics of the profession.
‘’We restate that a free press remains one of the bedrocks of democracy and nothing must be done to shrink the space. We commend the intervention of the Nigeria Press Organisation in protecting the freedom of press in the country,’’ the Guild stated.
The NGE expressed appreciation to the government and people of Jigawa State for the conducive environment provided during its Standing Committee Meeting in Dutse.
Meanwhile, the editors said that this year’s All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANAC), the largest gathering of Nigerian editors and owners of newspapers, magazines, radio/television stations, and online newspapers in Nigeria will hold at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre (NAF) in Abuja between October 21 and 22.
It said the editors’ conference is aimed at achieving ‘’consensus and collective agreement” among media owners, managers, and senior editors on “what role to play in helping the government resolve the seemingly intractable conflict enveloping the nation today.”
The Guild said: “The strong argument by conflict management experts is that mass media ever so often, plays a key role in the conflict. Their role may take two different and opposed forms: It is either the media takes an active part in the conflict with obligation for increased violence, or stays independent and out of the conflict, in that way contributing to the resolution of the conflict and mitigation of violence.”