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Insecurity Posting Negative Development Indices, Editors Lament

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The 17th All Nigerian Editors Conference has called for healthy and harmonious collaboration between the media and the security agencies in the fight against insecurity across the country, saying the problem of insecurity was taking a huge toll on societal life and posting negative development indices in several areas.
The conference also said that peace and development, which are germane to further advancement of Nigeria, cannot thrive in times of crises, and stated that governments at all levels have a huge responsibility to defend, protect and provide for its citizens.
These were some of the resolutions reached at the end of the conference put together by the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and held between Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22, 2021, in Abuja.
The theme of the conference was: “Media In Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus.”
In a communique signed by the NGE’s President, Mustapha Isah; and the General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren; and made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, the conference attended by 350 editors, security chiefs, and other stakeholders, stated that the prevalent insecurity challenges, which have seen terrorists, bandits, armed herdsmen and other criminal elements holding the nation to ransom and threatening its survival and development, have the potential of tearing the country to shreds.
‘’The problem of insecurity confronting the country is taking a huge toll on societal life and posting negative development indices in several areas. That the insecurity crises stem from leadership failure that has bedevilled the country for many years’’, the communique stated.
‘’There are fears in some quarters that editors and media professionals seem to have taken sides in the raging crises. That journalists and security agents who are first line responders to every flash point, appear locked in mutual suspicion.’’
Noting that journalists are oftentimes impaired and harassed by security agents from carrying out their professional responsibilities, the conference said that peace and development, which are germane to further advancement of Nigeria cannot thrive in times of crises.
The conference resolved, ‘’Governments at all levels have a responsibility to defend, protect and provide for its citizens. That agitations for self-determination, which are raging in the South-East, South-West and the South-South regions do not augur well for the unity of the country.
‘’The conference called for an end to raging insecurity so that citizens can conduct their normal lives in an atmosphere of peace and concord. That there’s need for healthy and harmonious collaboration between the media and the security agencies in the fight against insecurity.
‘’There is a need for security agents to appreciate the role of Journalists and media professionals and refrain from anything that will abridge it.’’
The conference also advised editors and other media professionals to ensure that they are conflict-sensitive and ensure they do not publish stories that are capable of inflaming ethnic, regional and religious passion. While calling for urgent need to tackle the monster of misinformation and sanitize the media against unprofessional and unethical behaviour.
The conference also called on government to support the survival of the media as part of the task of building the nation’s democracy and avoid any acts that will put the media in chains.
While calling on the federal government to confront issues that have given rise to the demands of the different self-determination groups, the conference advised it to endeavour to deal with the different sections of the country on the basis of fairness, equity and justice.
‘’There is need for government to ensure that its policies and actions are sensitive to the multi ethnic and religious makeup of the country.
‘’Government needs to commit more resources to education, healthcare and tackle the rising costs of food and other social services’’, the conference stated.
The conference was chaired by a veteran journalist, Ray Ekpu; with Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kolo Kyari, as Special Guest of Honour; and President, Newspapers Proprietors of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Kabiru Yusuf, as Guest of Honour.
The conference also featured other guests, including, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello; Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, (represented by the Special Adviser on Inter Governmental Affairs, Hajia Hannatu Dalhat); and Governor of State of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola (represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Prince Abdullah Adeyanju Binuyo).
Other guests included Inspector General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali Baba (represented by Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba); Director General, Department of Security Service (DSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi (represented by its Spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya); and Director General, Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar (represented by a Director, NIA, Mr Emma Engon Anzaku).
The Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Mr Aliyu A. Abdulhameed; and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta; Publisher, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi; and Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers Group, Azu Ishiekwene; were also parts of the conversation.
Other highlight of the conference was the unveiling of the book chronicling 60 years of the Nigerian Guild of Editors titled, “Uneven Steps: The Story Of The Nigerian Guild of Editors” authored by Mr Lanre Idowu.
The book was reviewed by James Akpandem James.
The two-day conference was rounded up with a 60th Anniversary Dinner, which featured the induction of eight new fellows and 13 new members.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the reason why there were so many problems in the Nigerian society was because of a diminishing emphasis placed on the importance of family values.
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.

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Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has issued an alert over planned attacks by insurgents on Ogun border communities and other border communities in Nigeria.
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”

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PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta

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Towards attaining sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have agreed to work together to tackle pipeline insecurity, unemployment and other challenges in the region.
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”

By: Akujobi Amadi

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