Stop giving publicity to insurgents – Nigerian editors beg media

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Mr Mustapha Isah, the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), has called on media houses in the country to reduce the rate at which they publish activities of terrorists and bandits.

Isah made the call at the 17th All Editors Conference, 2021, held in Abuja on Thursday,

The theme of the conference was “Media in the Times of Crises: Rising Conflicts, Achieving Consensus”.

The Guild President said the conference was an avenue for editors to come together and liaise with relevant stakeholders to discuss national issues and proffer solutions.

Isah further encouraged Editors to use their various media outlets in projecting the achievements of the gallant Nigerian military in the battle against insurgency.

He added “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.

“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,” Isah said.

Meanwhile, the President of Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigerian (NPAN),  Mr Kabiru Yusuf, disclosed that the association was spearheading an initiative to find ways to stop the circulation of fake stories.

“In addition, to alleviate the various difficulties that have been posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to media organisations, especially the newspapers”.

Yusuf said the issue of importation of newsprints for newspapers and regulation of social media are some of the problems the association would be dealing with.

“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”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Yusuf was represented by the Secretary General of NPAN, Mr Muhammed Idris.

The Chairman of the event, Mr. Ray Ekpu, said to understand the insecurities bedeviling the country, we must first understand the causes.

Speaking, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, 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.

According to him, most of the communities around oil and gas facilities are communities of thieves, noting that they serve as hide outs for people who vandalize oil facilities and those involved in oil bunkering.

Kyari further assured of a new NNPC and better performance of the corporation in the coming years, especially with the advent of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIS).

“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 be delivered 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.

“However, we advocate for energy justice. There must be energy justice. This means that countries should be allowed to move at their own pace in line with their energy reality”.

Also speaking, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, urged the Editors and media managers to play a greater mediatory role by entrenching a peace media system and building a culture of peace in today’s conflict-ridden world.

According to Danbatta, 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 as to promote unity, peaceful co-existence and cohesion in the society,” Danbatta said.

Meanwhile, the Inspector Gemeral of Police, represented by the Police Public relation Officer at the Force Headquarters, Mr Frank Mba, called on the media to find more creative ways to collaborate with the police in managing national development.

Similarly, Dr Peter Afunaya of the Department of State Services, said that the media will set the agenda and define the affairs of the national unity and loyalty.

He added that as such, the media should rethink and ensure that it is a part of Nigeria’s lasting peace.

Afunaya urged the media to let sentiment play a key role in the dissemination of news stories. (NAN)

 

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