Journalism in the service of society

All Nigeria Editors’ conference begins in Abuja

THE 7th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference officially began today at the NAF Conference Centre, in Abuja.

The conference with the theme, ‘’Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus,” brought together editors and media owners across the country, as well as their foreign colleagues to discuss the security challenges in the country and agree on the solution to the crisis.

The highpoint of today’s event was the unveiling of a book titled “Uneven Steps: The story of the Nigerian Guild of Editors” authored by Lanre Idowu and presented to the public by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, joined by Mustapha Isa and Iyobosa Uwugiaren, President and General Secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors respectively and other dignitaries.

Naija Times’ strong delegation was led by Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Ehi Braimah, its Chairman Editorial Board, Akpandem James and Kadilo Brown, a member of its Editorial Advisory Board.

The two-day event will, however, be concluded with an induction ceremony tomorrow. Braimah and other Editors will be inducted as Fellows, Nigerian Guild of Editors.

The opening session was chaired by veteran journalist, Ray Ekpu, who identified seven security anomalies while expressing support for state police.

He said the first is that the security of Nigeria is being managed as if the country has a homogenous culture.

According to him, governors are chief security officers of their states only in name. He lamented that in many states, there are varied forms of local policing, yet the Federal Government has kicked against state police.

He said there is also the anomaly of South West and South East setting up Amotekun, and Ebube Agu and the South-South resolving to come up with one. Unfortunately, the North East, North West and North Central which are the epicentres of insecurity have not followed suit.

According to him, there is an anomaly with the use of the Army as law enforcement officers. He noted that while the states provide more than one third of funding for the Police, it is wrong for the Federal Government to refuse to allow state police.

He added, “My view is that the media, civil society, lawyers and labour are capable of jointly checkmating through demonstrations and legal processes power drunk governors. Also if we have state police, there will be balance of terror which will be a check on either sides as it happened to the super powers during the cold war”.

Ekpu, however, urged editors across the country to come up with creative ideas to solve the country’s problems.

The Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari was the special guest of honour, while the President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (PAN) Malam Kabiru Yusuf, was guest of honour.

There were goodwill messages from Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), representatives of the Nigerian Police Force, Department of States Services, National Intelligence Agency and the Nigerian Union of Journalists.

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