Segun Olatunji, Editor of FirstNews,

NGE expresses worry about nation’s growing insecurity, demands release of Olatunji, FirstNews editor

The Guild described the recent ambush and killing of 17 military personnel on March 14 in Okuama community, in Delta State, and the aftermath alleged military’s revenge as disheartening.


The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called on all levels of government to do more to address the nation’s increasing security issues in accordance with their constitutional duty to protect people’s lives and property.

The professional association of editors and media executives, while noting a decline in the nation’s security state, however, acknowledged the government’s attempts to halt the alarming pattern.

The NGE stated this in a communiqué signed by the President, Mr. Eze Anaba, and the General Secretary, Dr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren at the end of its Standing Committee meeting in Enugu, a copy of which was obtained by Persecondnews in Abuja.

The Guild also demanded that the federal government provide information regarding the whereabouts of Segun Olatunji, the editor of FirstNews newspaper, who was kidnapped from his Lagos home by a group of men dressed in military uniforms about three weeks ago.

In addition, the editors insisted that the editor be released right away and that any media report that they thought or suspected to be untrue should be investigated and put to the test by the appropriate authorities.

They denounced the editor’s kidnapping, arguing that it was unacceptable in a democracy, particularly with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu leading the administration.

The editors argued that the administration had repeatedly stated that all of its policies, programmes, and activities would be regulated by the rule of law.

‘’The media/journalists must be allowed to continue to operate in an atmosphere conducive to the performance of their constitutional duty of holding government accountable to the people.

‘’Government or security agencies must not be perceived to be doing anything to the contrary or attempting to stifle the media under a democratic government’’, the NGE warned

The group also praised the recent release of kids from Kuriga, Kaduna State’s Chikun Local Government Area’s LEA Primary School and Government Secondary School, as a positive step.

The Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, and security services were commended by the Guild for their contributions to the students’ release following three weeks of kidnapping.

The Guild described the recent ambush and killing of 17 military personnel on March 14 in Okuama community, in Delta State, and the aftermath alleged military’s revenge as disheartening.

It called on the federal government to dig deep into the killing of soldiers in Okuama and unravel the ‘’real circumstances’’ in which the incident and its aftermath occurred, with a view to bringing those indicted to book and preventing a recurrence.

While noting the rising cost of living in the country, which saw Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increase from 29.90 per cent in January to 31.70 per cent in February, the editors attributed the current harsh economic space to the worsening security situation.

They also attribute the rising cost of living to removal of subsidy on petrol, and the devaluation of the Naira, following the unifying of exchange rates.

“’The Guild observed measures by the Central Bank of Nigeria to reverse the falling value of the Naira and urged it to ensure the results are long-term and not temporary.

‘’The professional body also acknowledged initiatives by government at various levels to reduce the hardship in the country – through various palliatives and intervention schemes.

‘’Such measures should not be beneficial only in the short-term, hoping that government policies, in the long run, will make life easier for the people”.

The Guild commended the mass media for their resilience, amidst the harsh economic realities of the times and called on journalists to continue to perform their responsibilities with a sense of professionalism.

‘’In the face of the nation’s security challenges and tough economic ecosystem, the Guild urged journalists to be circumspect, and not sacrifice truthfulness in their reportage.

‘’The media must continue to carry out its responsibilities with a sense of nationalism and be careful not to inadvertently give stimulus to terrorists/bandits in their reportage’’, the editors added.

The NGE thanked the government of Enugu State for providing an atmosphere conducive for it to hold its Standing Committee neeting in the state.

It noted the ‘’landmark and revolutionary projects’’ initiated by Gov. Peter Mbah, barely one year into his tenure, especially in education, health, provision of potable water, and road infrastructure.

The Guild said that the initiatives were promising and urged the governor to see them to fruition and continue in such light.


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