Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be truly independent and show its loyalty to Nigeria and neither to any particular politician nor individuals.
The Guild, which took this position after its Standing Committee Meeting held at the weekend in Bauchi State, also enjoined media practitioners to be guided by the Media Code on Election Coverage and ensure balanced reportage, fairness to all and display a high sense of professionalism before, during and after the general elections.
In the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the President and Secretary, Mrs. Funke Egbemode and Victoria Ibanga respectively, NGE also decried what it termed the growing phenomenon of vote-buying and reminds the electorate that it would not be in their interest to mortgage their future for immediate pecuniary gains.
It also reminds politicians across all party lines that election should not be taken as a do-or-die, noting that the survival of the country should be of paramount importance to all.
The statement reads: “Having noted with dismay, the emerging trend of dwelling on inanities and calumny, the Nigerian Guild of Editors enjoins the media to pay more attention to politicians who campaign on issues and shun those who smear their opponents or embark on negative campaign.
“In the same vein, INEC should ensure it conducts free, fair and credible elections and remember that its loyalty is to the nation only and not to any political party.”
The Guild extends its appreciation to the government and people of Bauchi State for hosting its last quarterly meeting of the Standing Committee for 2018 while commending it for the sustained infrastructural development it has embarked upon within the last three years.