Editors urged not to give prominence to activities of terrorists, Bandits

3 months ago | 309

Mele Kolo Kyari at NGE Conference
THE Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, conference opened on Thursday, October 21, with a call to the media to reduce the prominence given to activities of terrorists and bandits.

Mustapha Isah, president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, set the tone in his welcome addressl at the two-day conference themed: “Media in the Times of Crises: Rising Conflicts, Achieving Consensus”.
L-R: Prof. Umar Danbatta, Ray Ekpu, Mustapha Isah, Mele Kyari, Frank Mbah
According to Isa, the conference was an avenue for editors to come together and liaise with relevant stakeholders to discuss national issues and proffer solutions.
Encouraging editors to use their various media outlets in projecting the achievements of the gallant 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 fore front of the war against terrorism."
Said he: “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."
Also, Kabiru Yusuf, president of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian, NPAN,  who was represented by Muhammed Idris, secretary general of NPAN, said that the association was spearheading an initiative to find ways to stop the circulation of fake stories and also to alleviate the various difficulties that have been posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to media organisations, especially the newspapers.
According to Yusuf, the challenges in importation of newsprints for newspapers and regulation of social media are some of the problems the association is dealing with, adding: "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."
Peter Afunanya
On his part,  Ray Ekpu, former chief executive officer of Newswatch and former president of NPAN, posits that in order to find lasting solutions to the insecurities bedeviling the country, there was need to first understand the causes and for the society to be runned based on principles of fairness and equity for all citizens.
Mele Kolo Kyari, group managing director, Nigerian Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, decried the impact of insecurity on the oil and gas sector.
Kyari said oil and gas workers are targets of kidnap gangs around the country and so much money has been lost as ransoms to rescue kidnapped workers.
He, however, assured of a new NNPC and better performance of the corporation in the coming years, especially with the advent of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA.
“Today, as we all know, Nigeria is in an energy deficit. We import all our petroleum products. In the past several years, every attempt to salvage our refineries have ended up in one misfortunate or the other. There have been so many factors responsible for this. However, I can assure you that things have changed and so many things are about to change.
“For the first time in history, NNPC and its subsidiaries are allowed to do things the way they should be done. I can confirm to you that we will fix those refineries. We have started the process. Contractors have been mobilised and I promise they will deliver soon. You will see what we will deliver before the end of the year."
Kyari said there was an ongoing energy transition and less focus on fossil fuel and more focus on renewable energy, adding: “However, we advocate energy justice. This means that countries should be allowed to move at their own pace in line with their energy reality.”
Also, Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, urged the Editors and media managers to entrench a peaceful media system and build a culture of peace in today’s conflict-ridden world.
Danbatta said that a lot of people, in times of crisis, look up to the media to provide vital information that will help them in making informed decisions that create stability in emotional management rather than take actions that result in pandemonium.
“Because most newspapers or broadcast media also have online versions, the NCC strongly advocates responsible use of the internet to carry out personal business and other professional activities in the way and manner that promote unity, peaceful co-existence and cohesion in the society,” he said.
Represented by Commisioner of Police Frank Mbah and Force public relations officer, Usman Baba,  inspector general of police, urged the media to find more creative ways to collaborate with the police in managing national security and development.
Also, Peter Afunaya, spokesman of the Department of State Services, DSS, who represented his boss, Yusuf Magachi Bichi,  while noting that the media set the agenda and define the direction of national unity and loyalty, added,  they should not allow sentiment play a key role in the dissemination of news stories.
- Oct. 22, 2021 @ 7:55 GMT |

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