Nigerian Editors under the auspices of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari government to adopt very strong policies that would protect the rights of children, and in particular under-age girls, in the light of the rising cases of abductions and abuse of minors across the country.
This was the highlight of the communiqué of the Guild issued at the end of its first quarterly Standing Committee Meeting (SCM) of the year on Friday, March 18, 2016 in Abuja
In recent months, there have been frequent instances of abduction of minors and marrying them off or trading them as sex slaves.
A case-in-point was the abduction of 14-year-old Ese Oruru who was allegedly abducted from Bayelsa State to Kano and married off without the consent of her parents. Ese has been confirmed pregnant.
The Guild also noted that the current economic challenges facing the country has made the need to diversify the Nigerian economy more compelling and urged government to quickly evolve very clear and productive policies on mining, as well as make agriculture more attractive through the provision of soft loans and other incentives that would facilitate the development of the agricultural sector.
The Guild expressed serious disappointment over the poor conduct of the last JAMB computer-based examinations. Describing it as a national embarrassment capable of truncating the destinies of future leaders the Guild therefore, implored government to immediately halt the approval of centres that lack the capacity to ensure seamless conduct of such examinations.
The editors expressed concern that the media industry, like most other sectors, is suffocating under the prevailing economic challenges, which poses a threat to the survival of traditional media in particular and credible information dissemination.
It therefore asks the government to review policies that impede the operations of the media in order to sustain democracy and avoid job losses.
Following the recent appointment of the President of the Guild, Garba Deen Mohammad, as the new spokesman of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Guild said it has noted the recent changes in the status of its leadership and unanimously agreed on a handover plan that will culminate in a change of baton at its next Standing Committee Meeting.