Friday, January 9, 2015

Nigeria: Guild of Editors wants fair play in Feb polls

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has called for fair play in the conduct of the 2015 general elections holding in February.

The NGE made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of its last quarterly meeting for 2014 held in Lagos, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja.

``The Nigerian Guild of Editor urges fair play in the February 2015 general elections as the reputation of the country, as well as that of INEC is at stake, ‘’ it said in the communiqué.

‘’With the shoddy arrangements in the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), there is an urgent need for INEC to redeem the process by ensuring that eligible voters are not disenfranchised.’’

It advised politicians, security agents and the populace to be cautious in their utterance, abide by campaign rules and exhibit tolerance before and during the elections to avoid over-heating the polity.

``Security agencies, in particular, should be non-partisan,’’ it said.

The NGE noted that insurgency has lasted for too long in the northern part of the country, especially in the North East, with its attendant huge death toll and high number of internally displaced persons.

``The crises call for harmonisation of efforts, change of tactics, and a review of the country's security architecture to win the war.’’

The guild noted the sudden sharp fall in global oil prices, and called on the Nigerian government to develop economic policies and measures to diversify the economy.

‘’The federal and other arms of government must take drastic actions to reduce the huge cost of governance, particularly in the face of the recently announced austerity measures.’’

The body frowned at the high failure rate in the November/December results released recently by the West African Examinations Council.

It noted that the high failure rate ``is symptomatic of the decay in the education sector’’, and called for increase in allocation to the sector, as well as training and retraining of teachers.

Noting the unifying role sports play globally, the body lamented that the Super Eagles, the defending champions of the Nations Cup, would be absent when the event kicks off on Jan. 17 in Morocco.

The guild, therefore, called on football authorities to resolve promptly, all issues bedevilling the nation's sports sector. 

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

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