The Nigerian Guild of Editors has appealed for fair play in the February 2015 general election as part of efforts to redeem the reputation of the Nigeria and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Editors who took this position at the end of their quarterly meeting in Lagos noted that the reputation of the INEC was already at stake with the perceived shoddy arrangements in the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards.
The Guild said there is an urgent need for INEC to redeem the process by ensuring that eligible voters are not disenfranchised.
It advised the political class, security agents and the populace to be cautious in their utterances and to abide by the rules of campaigning and exhibit tolerance before and during the elections to avoid over-heating the polity.
It also called on security agencies, particularly the Police, the State Security Services and soldiers to be deployed for monitoring the elections to avoid being partisan.
The Guild lamented that insurgency has lasted for too long in the northern part of the country, especially in Nigeria’s North East, with its attendant huge death toll and massive number of Internally Displaced Persons.
It said, “The crises call for harmonisation of efforts, change of tactics, and a review of the country’s security architecture, to win the war.
A communiqué issued at the end of the quarterly meeting of the Guild and signed by the President, Mr Femi Adesina read,
“The Guild notes that the sudden sharp fall in global oil prices is a wakeup call on the Nigerian government to urgently go beyond rhetorics by developing economic policies and measures to diversify the economy.
“Federal and other arms of Government must take drastic actions to reduce the huge cost of governance, particularly in the face of recently announced austerity measures.
“ The Guild laments the high failure rate in the just released November/December results of the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, believing it is symptomatic of the decay in the education sector. I therefore calls for increased allocation to the education sector, and training and retraining of teachers.
“The Guild appreciates the unifying role of Sports globally, and laments that as the Nations Cup kicks off in January 2015, our national team, Super Eagles and defending champions will be conspicuously absent at the AFCON tournament.
“The football authorities are therefore urged to resolve all issues bedeviling the nation’s sports sector with promptitude”.