By Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at the weekend asked Nigerians to ignore those agitating for the dismemberment of the country and go about their businesses without fear or hindrance.
Rather than focusing on sectional agitation springing up in different parts of the country, the guild urged Nigerians to team up with the leaders to reposition Nigeria for present and future generations.
This was contained in a communiqué the guild issued after the second quarterly meeting of its standing committee held in Lagos last Friday in which it condemned hate speeches from different sections of the country.
The communiqué which was signed by its President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode and its General Secretary, Mrs. Victoria Ibanga, called for restraint and tolerance among Nigerians, stressing that the country “remains stronger together.”
The guild said those sowing seeds of discord “should realise that they are not just destroying the dreams of the nation’s founding fathers, but the progress we have made over the years as a nation; their actions have the capacity to alter the destiny of Nigeria negatively.”
It noted that as major stakeholders in the Nigerian project, editors and journalists fought for the enthronement of the current democratic dispensation, with some paying the supreme price, to birth a constitutional government.
It lamented that the elders from different parts of the country kept quiet for too long, which allowed the youths to take over the socio-political space and brought the nation to the present situation.
It, therefore, urged the elders across the country to always keenly take interest in the affairs of the nation, rather than play the ostrich while condemning the hate speeches from different sections of Nigeria.
The guild also urged Nigerians to ignore those agitating for the dismemberment of the country and to go about their businesses without fear or let, and focus more on repositioning the country for present and future generations.”
It, however, condemned the firm and decisive intervention of the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, which it said, had calmed the situation and urges the government to do more.
It lamented that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had been issuing orders to “his men to get these persons arrested but is worried that no commensurate action has been taken. It urges the police to be more responsive and pragmatic.”
The guild, however, commended the Nigeria Police Force for the arrest of the kidnap kingpin, Chukwudi Dumeme Onuamadike and other kidnappers.
He urged that the police should do more “to ensure the release of the abducted pupils of Igbonla Model College, Epe in Lagos State, who have been missing for more than three weeks now.”
In strong terms, the guild condemned the overzealousness of operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and other security agencies against the media.
At all times, according to the guild, duties come with deep responsibilities that must be upheld.