*Denounces killing of journalist in Zamfara
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has expressed worry over the prevailing lawlessness and general state of insecurity in the country, especially in the South –East, and commended governors of the South-East geopolitical zone for the ongoing initiatives to collectively address the challenges.
Similarly, the Guild also applauded the efforts of Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State for his infrastructure development and for improving security in the state.
In a statement after its Standing Committee meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, and signed by the NGE President, Eze Anaba and the General Secretary, Dr Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the professional body of editors in Nigeria said governments, at all levels, have the primary purpose of securing lives and property, and noted that the prevailing situation in some states was an abdication of that sacred responsibility.
“The Guild has observed that the insecurity in these areas has led to the needless loss of hundreds of innocent lives, and has adversely affected social activities, as well as the nation’s economy.
‘’We hope that the security summit, which has been initiated by the governors in the zone slated for Owerri, the Imo State capital, between Thursday, September 28, and Friday September 29 – expected to feature major stakeholders in the zone, will help to address the issues’’, the statement added.
The statement said that the situation in the geopolitical zone remains a threat to the entire country and hoped that the security summit will proffer lasting solution to the menace.
The editors, who were in Bayelsa State for three days, noted that Diri has in the past few years prioritised security and construction of roads to connect all the local government areas, including areas that were hitherto unreachable by road.
Among the key road projects completed or ongoing, according to the Guild, are the Nembe-Brass road with huge commercial values, the Yenagoa-Southern Ijaw road, the Ekeremor-Sagbama road and the Igbogene-Ojopa dual carriageway recently commissioned by the Sultan of Sokoto in the state capital.
The Guild hoped that the improved road network will catalyse development across the state, which in turn provide jobs and reducing militancy and youth restiveness.
The Guild also commended the Bayelsa State Government for employing technology in the distribution of medicine in the state, with the use of drones, in partnership with Zipline, an innovation which has made distribution of needed medicines to hospitals and health centres in rural areas seamless, effective and in real time.
The editors described the abduction and subsequent killing of a reporter with Voice of Nigeria (VON), in Zamfara State, Hamisu Danjibga, as frightening and tasked all security agencies to investigate the matter.
The Guild also expressed concern over the capturing of 33 persons, including 24 students of Federal University, Gusau, recently.
“Though 16, including 14 students were said to have been released as on Monday, we call on the federal government to spare no effort in ensuring the release of the remaining abducted persons, and finding a lasting solution to such menace.
“We commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s marching order to security agencies in this regard and we look forward to the actualisation of the directive”, the Guild added.
The Guild called for improved security measures to protect Nigerians, especially journalists carrying out their legitimate and constitutional duties, saying the VON reporter was one of the resourceful journalists reporting the activities of the deadly terrorists and other criminal elements in the state before he was killed.