*Fixes ANEC on security for October
By Umoru Ibrahim
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has described the recent compromise of the security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Afaka, Kaduna State, by unknown gunmen as a worrisome dimension to insecurity, and called on the government at all levels to be more proactive and creative in tackling insecurity, and in carrying out their constitutional duty of securing lives and property in the country.
The NGE has also scheduled its 17th All Nigerian Editors Conference (ANEC) for October 21- 22, 2021 in Abuja, focusing on the current security challenges in the nation, with a theme “Media in Times of Crisis: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus.”
These were parts of the decisions reached by the Standing Committee of NGE – at its meeting held during the week in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.
In a communique signed by the President, Mustapha Isah and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the Guild acknowledged efforts by the government to achieve better results in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
‘’The Guild acknowledges efforts by the federal government to achieve better results in tackling the nation’s security challenges, but sees the August 24 compromise of the security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy in Afaka, Kaduna State, by unknown gunmen as a worrisome dimension to insecurity.
‘’It calls on the government to be more proactive and creative in the fight against insecurity, and in carrying out its constitutional duty of securing lives and property in the country,’’ the communique stated.
The umbrella of all editors said this is the way to go in order to push back the spate of banditry and kidnapping for ransom, which has continued to occur in some parts of the country, in spite of continued onslaught by security forces against the perpetrators.
The Standing Committee of the NGE, which also discussed the state of the nation and highlighted the constitutional role of the media in holding public office holders accountable to the people, noted that the government has a duty of providing an enabling environment for the media to perform its role devoid of intimidation, while journalists have the responsibility of ensuring they operate in line with the ethics of the profession.
‘’The Guild restates that a free press remains one of the bedrocks of democracy and nothing must be done to shrink the space. It commends the intervention of the Nigeria Press Organisation in protecting the freedom of press in the country,’’ the editors added.
The NGE appreciated the government and people of Jigawa State for the conducive environment provided during the Standing Committee meeting in Dutse.
Meanwhile, the editors said that this year ANEC is aimed at achieving ‘’consensus and compromise’’ among media owners, managers and senior editors on what role the media can play in helping to resolve the seemingly intractable conflict enveloping the nation today.
‘’The strong argument by conflict management experts is that mass media every so often, play a key role in 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,’’ the NGE added.
The ANEC is the largest gathering of Nigerian editors and owners of mass media: newspapers, magazines, radio/television stations and online newspapers in Nigeria.
The annual conference will also attract NGE’s foreign partners: World Editors Forum (WEF), West African Editors Forum (WAEF), African Editors Forum (AEF), International Press Institute (IPI), World Association of Newspapers (WAN).
Other stakeholders expected at the two-day conference include, top security officers in the country, chief executive officers in the private sectors, academics and others.