By Bode Olagoke
The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against the use of the military force against the renewed activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, saying such will aggregate the militants.
The NGE also observed the increasing rate in cases of kidnapping and communal clashes, called on security agencies to rise to the occasion.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the standing committee of the Guild in Kastina state at the weekend, signed by the its President and Secretary, Funke Egbemode and Victoria Ibanga, respectively, the body called on the militant group to drop the threat and embrace dialogue in resolving their grievances.
“The Guild urges the federal government not to resort to the use of force in resolving the matter, stressing that the use of force has never solved any problem. As stakeholders in the task of nation-building, the Guild is worried by the recent show of military force in the quest to neutralise the threat of the militants. This move has done little to calm the tension, instead it has aggravated it. We urge caution and restraint.
On the increasing cases of kidnappings and communal clashes in the country, the editors urged the federal government to deploy the relevant security agencies to check the pervasiveness of the crimes.
“The widening spread and growing frequency of kidnappings and allied criminal acts do not only threaten the nation’s socio-political stability, they also rob Nigeria of income as potential investors are scared of coming into the country while in some instances, existing investors are being forced to leave the country. Either way, the nation loses.”
On the 2018 budget estimates currently before the National Assembly, the Guild expressed concern about the size of the recurrent as against the capital expenditures, saying the trend, “which is inimical to any country’s development, has continued for so long. We urge prudence and innovative budgeting in order to achieve a reversal in the nearest future.”