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Editors advocate national dialogue to address insecurity

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

• Lament sanctions against media organisations
• FG seeks support against fake news

Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged media managers and senior gatekeepers to sustain developmental journalism in the interest of national security.

He made the call at the opening of the 2021 biennial convention of the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) holding in Kano.

The minister, who was represented by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Garba Shehu, reminded the editors of their role in building peaceful and enduring society.

Mohammed, who stressed that the citizens need to be assured that the Federal Government is working to end the raging insecurity across the country, urged the media to help defuse the danger in fake news, rumour and propaganda in the country.

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Earlier, the outgoing President of the Guild of Editors, Mustapha Isa, advocated national dialogue to address the seemingly intractable killings, banditry, kidnapping and other criminality in the country.

Mustapha, who emphasised the primary responsibility of government in protection of life and property, kicked against incessant attack on security posts and national property.

While asserting the constitutional responsibility of journalists to hold government accountable to the people, the Guild of Editors president expressed worry over sanctions and disciplinary actions against media organisations. He specifically considered actions of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) against some broadcast media as intimidation, saying dialogue should have been adopted to resolve issues.

He called for amendment of the law empowering regulatory bodies, including NBC and Nigerian Press Council as well as Cybercrime law, to guarantee efficient and effective functionality of the media without intimidation.

In his goodwill message, President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, expressed concern over the poor and hazardous conditions under which journalists carry out their entrusted duty, and said the situation had been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, the impact of the pandemic made some journalists to lose their jobs while those who merely retained their beats are barely surviving with poor remuneration.

Isiguzo urged the Guild of Editors to come up with a solution to the poor working condition of journalists at the end of the convention.

Over 600 media managers, senior gatekeepers and editors are attending the biennial convention where new executives would be elected.

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