EDITORS TASK FG ON THREATS TO DEMOCRACY
The seventh edition of the Nigerian Guild of Editors' (NGE) biennial conference ended yesterday with a plea to the Federal Government to address issues threatening the nascent democracy.
The editors' conference, which held in Benin City, Edo State capital, specifically called for the efforts at ending poverty, illiteracy, injustice and fraudulent elections.
In a communiquÃ© jointly signed by Gbenga Adefaye and Femi Adesina, President of the Guild and Chairman, Conference Committee respectively, the editors also called for a review of the laws governing administration as well as those on indigene/settler dichotomy.
The conference, which was attended by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal; Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola (SAN); Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, also stressed the imperative to reduce cost of governance.
On insecurity and the threat on the unity and development of the country, the editors called on President Goodluck Jonathan and all security agencies to wake up to their responsibilities and act fast.
'Insecurity is a major threat to the nation's democracy and the general well-being of the polity. The President and the security agencies should tackle insecurity urgently and protect lives and property. Dialogue should be employed where necessary while criminal breach of security should be punished', the communiquÃ© stated in parts.
The Guild, however, urged its members to also be at the vanguard 'of promoting national unity and integration. They should deny access to those who seek to use the media to fan embers of ethnicity and divisive politics.'
The conference, which kick-started with a keynote address from the INEC chairman and followed by several papers' presentation from dignitaries like former minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke; ex-Nigerian envoy to the United Nations (UN), Amb. Dapo Fafowora; applauded the transformational programmes of Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole and his support to the hosting of the conference.
Other dignitaries that graced the four-day event included representative of Sokoto State Governor and Commissioner for Information, Mallam Dahiru Maishanu; representative of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, who is also the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Prof. Stella Okunna; members of the Senate Committee on Information, led by Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, while veteran journalists such as chief Segun Osoba, former Governor of Ogun State; Mr. Sam Amuka Pemu, Publisher, Vanguard Newspapers and Mr. Ray Ekpu, of former Editor-inchief of NewsWatch Magazine graced the conference.