Â By Victor Ahiuma-YoungÂ
KATSINAâ€”UMBRELLA body for editors in the country, the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has advised Nigerian journalists not to allow the ordeal of four of their colleagues who recently regained freedom from kidnappers to discourage them from performing their duties in any part of the country.
NGE in a communique at the end of its quarterly Standing Committee meeting, held in Katsina, Katsina state, took exception to a statement credited to President Jonathan that the government knows that some highly-placed people offer themselves as negotiators whenever kidnapping takes place.
It called on government not to shy away from its responsibilities by bringing the culprits to justice.
The communique issued by Mr. Gbenga Adefaye and John Ndukauba, President and General Secretary of the NGE, respectively, implored the government to make the cost of the crime of kidnap very prohibitive to the operators and their sponsors.
The editorsâ€™ body in the 8-point communique, also commented on the ongoing constitution amendment and free polls in the forthcoming general elections.
Tasks FG on security
According to the communique, â€œthe Editors frowned at the state of insecurity in the country especially the rising cases of kidnapping in some parts of the country.
â€œMembers condemned the recent kidnapping of the four journalists and their driver in Abia State as evil and expressed the hope that the security agencies will rise up to their responsibilities and ensure that such criminalities are stopped forthwith. The cost of the crime of kidnap must be made very prohibitive to the operators and their sponsors.
â€œThe Guild noted the statement by President Goodluck Jonathan that the government knows that some highly-placed people offer themselves as negotiators whenever kidnapping takes place and called on government not to shy away from its responsibilities by bringing the culprits to justice.
â€œThe editors commended the nationwide condemnation of the abduction of the journalists by Nigerians and the sympathy shown to their families. The Guild advised journalists not to allow the ordeal of the four journalists to discourage them from performing their duties in any part of the country.â€
NGE on constitution amendement,free polls
Continuing, the communique said, the â€œGuildÂ commended the ongoing constitution amendment process. The precedent that is about to be set by the National Assembly can only signpost a great future for constitutional rule in Nigeria.
â€œEditors expressed the hope that the process will be a continuous one as there are many more defective provisions that require amendment. The Guild will also welcome partnership with INEC towards ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the country.
â€œIt hopes that such partnership will enable the media and the electoral body work out measures for the attainment of the goal.â€
NGE government and people of Katsina State for their hospitality.