Don’t give terrorists, bandits undue publicity, Mustapha Isah urges journalists
President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mustapha Isah, has urged journalists to deny terrorists and bandits undue publicity.
In a speech he presented, yesterday, at the opening ceremony of the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC) in Abuja, he also challenged journalists to exhibit the highest level of professionalism by not allowing ethnic or religious affiliations to influence their editorial judgments.
He posed a few questions: “Shouldn’t the media deliberately give adequate publicity to the gains of our dedicated military personnel against the bad guys disturbing the peace of this nation?
“Should we give more attention to the voices of those calling for division or those calling for unity? I don’t have specific answers to these questions. And I do hope that this important conference will find the answers.
“But one thing I know is that terrorists and bandits need publicity to sustain their nefarious activities. Denying them that much-needed oxygen will be beneficial to our nation.”
He noted that over the years, ANEC has provided NGE with a huge opportunity to beam its searchlight on national issues, with a view to proffering solutions to challenges facing the nation.
He said: “There is no doubting the fact that insecurity is one of the major challenges facing Nigeria today. The entire country is engulfed in one form of crisis or the other. Every day, front pages of newspapers are replete with headlines bordering on insurgency, banditry, kidnappings on the highways and schools, farmers/herders clashes, as well as the activities of known and unknown gunmen.”
“Lives are being lost, the economy is bleeding, and scarce resources, which, ordinarily should have been used to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit, are being deployed to tackle the security challenges. The nation can’t continue like this.”
He said the media cannot afford to be aloof at a time of national crisis. “We have to be part of the solution to insecurity, which has become an existential threat to this great nation. The theme for this conference says it all. We should rise from this conference with a resolve to be part of the solution. The Nigerian media has a rich history of rising up in times of national challenges. We played a major role in the fight against colonial rule,” he added.
The theme of the conference is ‘Media In Times of Crisis: Resolving Conflicts, Achieving Consensus’.