The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has warned that the high level of insecurity, insurgency and kidnappings across the country which create atmosphere of fear and apprehension, cannot guarantee free, fair and credible elections in 2015.
The NGE issued this warning at the 10th All Nigerian Editors Conference, ANEC, held in Katsina State, at the weekend.
It also added that in order to strengthen the nation’s democracy and instill good governance, the current state of insecurity must be addressed with a view to creating conducive environment for development.
The NGE added that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC should be adequately funded, to enable the commission conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2015 and beyond.
The conference, with the theme, “Credible Elections and Good Governance: Role of the Editor,” was held between Wednesday 27 and Saturday, August 30, 2014 and had in attendance over 250 editors from both print and electronic media.
The Guild after deliberating on all the papers presented, issued a communique jointly signed by Femi Adesina, NGE President, and Isaac Ighure, General Secretary.
The communique stated among other things, “That Editors have a great role to play in promoting national discourse towards strengthening national unity, peace, harmony as well as political, social, economic growth and prosperity.
“That the Nigerian Editor should continue to promote the nation’s fledgling democracy and help in enthroning good governance in our country.
“That the Editor should continue to promote free and fair elections, which are key to the promotion and sustenance of democratic culture in the society through vigorous dissemination of information to the citizens.
The NGE also urged its members to adhere to the code of journalism ethics in the discharge of their responsibilities, while advocating for a code of conduct for the media in covering the 2015 general elections.
Some of the dignitaries at the conference include Ibrahim Shema, Katsina State governor; Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Kano State and Minister of Education, Segun Osoba, former governor of Ogun State; Umaru Mutallab, Chairman of Jaiz Bank, who delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony and Muhammed Garba, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.
David Mark, President of the Senate, sent a representative, while goodwill messages were received from various organizations.