Stop giving publicity to insurgents, NGE tells media
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the police, Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) and other critical stakeholders in the country, yesterday charted ways to resolve security challenges confronting the country.
The stakeholders spoke in Abuja at the 17th All Editors’ Conference 2021, with the theme: “Media in the Times of Crises: Rising Conflicts, Achieving Consensus”.
Speaking on the theme, the President of the NGE, Mustapha Isah, who said one of the ways to tackle current trends, is to reduce the rate at which activities of criminals are being reported, called on the media to find a way to halt publishing the activities of terrorists and bandits.
Isah noted that the conference was an avenue for editors to come together and liaise with relevant stakeholders to discuss national issues and proffer solutions.
He further encouraged editors to use their various media outlets in projecting the achievements of the Nigerian military in the battle against insurgency.
He said, “This forum has over the years provided news managers with the opportunity to put a searchlight on national issues with a view to proffering solutions. The country cannot continue this way. The media have to be part of the solution and be at the forefront of the war against terrorism.
“I want to put a few questions out: should the media play the occasional successes of insurgents and bandits against that of our military? Shouldn’t the media deliberately give adequate publicity to our dedicated military against the bad guys?
“One thing I know is that terrorists and bandits need publicity to sustain their nefarious activities. Deny them those privileged activities and you would have crippled them.”
On his part, the President of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian (NPAN), Mal. Kabiru Yusuf, said the association was spearheading an initiative to find ways to stop the circulation of fake stories.
Yusuf, who was represented by the Secretary-General of NPAN, Muhammed Idris, noted that the issue of importation of newsprints for newspapers and regulation of social media were some of the problems the association would be dealing with in addition, to alleviating the various difficulties that have been poised by the COVID-19 pandemic to media organisations, especially the newspapers.
“We have a general ombudsman, a committee that will help the industry. The committee will have critical stakeholders, the media, the general public, politicians and the security agencies”.
Also speaking, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, begged the editors to help to continue supporting the Nigerian police, especially during forthcoming governorship elections.
Baba, who was represented by the Force Police Public Relation Officer, Frank Mba, called on the media to find more creative ways to collaborate with the police in managing national development.
Mba said, “For me, I think we must find more creative ways, more ingenious ways, more productive ways of collaborating, partnering and working together to advance the cause of our national security, national consensus and national development.
“And that is why we are glad that you chose this topic at this very critical time of our national history, media, in terms of resolving conflicts, achieving consensus. I want to appeal to you, in that spirit, to continue to help us, not just reporting the crisis but also to go on and diagnose the crisis.
“Not just diagnosing the crisis but also going on to make critical suggestions on how the crisis can be dealt with. Even when the crisis or a situation manages to slip through your radar or our radar, do us the favour of carrying a detailed post mortem of those conflicts so that we can learn our lessons and move forward.
“Anambra election is around the corner, we will be appealing to the distinguished members of the guild to do whatever that is within their powers to ensure that they tame some of the emerging crises, find consensus, tackle the issues of hate speeches, tackle the issues of unfair media coverage with some of the contestants and support the police and INEC in delivering a free, fair and credible elections.
Similarly, spokesman for the Department of State Services, Peter Afunanya, said the media should set the agenda and define the affairs of national unity and loyalty.