Nigeria’s Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has admitted that bandits terrorising parts of the North-West are in control of the territories within which they operate. The worst affected states are Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna.
The confession by the Acting IGP came in his goodwill message to the 2019 Biennial Convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) holding in Lagos State, South-West Nigeria. The Acting IGP who was represented by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba however said the country’s security forces are working on reclaiming the territories taken over by the bandits.
The explanation by the Acting IGP was more of a response to the opening remarks made by the Chairman of Convention, Dan Agbese of the defunct Newswatch Magazine who challenged members of the Guild as gatekeepers in their respective media organisations to rise up and save the country from its current state of insecurity and helplessness by holding the leadership accountable.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has always maintained that no territory of the country is under the control of terrorists and other armed groups like was the case in the past. It will be recalled that Boko Haram terrorists during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan easily overran and took over territories in the North-East. Nigerian troops however reclaimed the territories after President Buhari assumed office in 2015.
In her keynote paper on theme of the Convention “Media Convergence as Strategy for Survival”, Head of Mass Communication Department of the University of Lagos, Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika drew examples from international media organisations that have not only been successful in launching themselves on the New Media but are generating huge revenues. She recommended that media organisations in Nigeria must also develop and implement strategic plans and policies to launch themselves and create new revenue sources on New Media platforms like blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram among others.
The Convention which was addressed by representatives of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed emphasised that the survival of the mainstream media which is been challenged by the social media is dependent on convergence. This is the term that describes the use of New Media platforms by radio, television and newspaper houses for the publishing of their stories and interaction with the audience which the Convention also believes will check the prevalence of fake news.
On the vexed issue of print media regulation, Vice President Osinbajo who was represented by his spokesperson, Laola Akaade expressed support for a regulatory agency that is run by officials appointed by the Guild and other professional bodies in the media industry.
The 2019 Convention of the Guild is expected to elect new leadership to run the affairs of professional body for the next two years. However, Funke Egbemode of the New Telegraph newspaper has been returned unopposed as President along with six others. These include Umaru Saidu Tudunwada as Deputy President, Mary Atolagbe as General Secretary, Ken Ugbechie as Publicity Secretary and Victoria Ibanga as Treasurer among others.