The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at the weekend expressed concerns over the state of insecurity in the country, stressing the need for security agencies to step up fight against crimes.
It also frowned against the recent harassment and detention of journalists of the Leadership newspapers by the police over a controversial story, describing the action of the federal government agents as a siege to the media.
NGE, according to a communique issued at the end of its standing committee meeting held in Ilorin between Thursday and Saturday, noted that the security agencies are doing their best. It however urged them to do more to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.
“The Guild notes with regret that in recent days, a former deputy governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chudi Nwike and a serving police commissioner in Kwara State, Mr. Chinwike Asadu were killed in bizarre circumstances. In Lagos, a local government chairman, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, was abducted, and bombs still go off with reckless abandon in some parts of the country. However, the Guild acknowledges the effort of the federal government to tackle the situation and welcomes any initiative that would engender lasting peace in the country,” the communique stated.
On the detention and harassment of journalists with the Leadership newspapers, the Guild stated, “While it is not against the investigation of journalists when and where necessary, such investigation must conform to the basic norms of due process permissible in a democracy.”
In the communique signed by the NGE President, Mr. Femi Adesina and the general secretary, Isaac Ighure, the guild urged the government to ensure that there is a departure from the old ways whereby journalists were arrested and detained arbitrarily.
On the state of the nation’s economy, the communique stated “In the face of the reported growth in the economy which has been acknowledged by relevant bodies including the World Bank, the Guild urges the Federal Government to ensure that such economic growth translates to the creation of more jobs and wealth as a way of tackling rising poverty and unemployment in the country both of which have reached crisis point. The Guild notes that it is through the creation of jobs that the people would benefit directly from the reported economic growth.”
Stressing the need to take adequate measures against flooding, the communique stated: “In view of the forecast by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that this year would experience yet another bout of flooding, the Guild urges the states and Federal Government to heed the warning and take proactive steps to avoid a repeat of the unpleasant incidence of flooding experienced last year.