NGE urges fair play in February polls

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The Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has urged fair play in the February 2015 general elections, as the reputation of the country, as well as that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is at stake.

With the shoddy arrangements in the issuance of Permanent Voters Cards, NGE said that there is urgent need for INEC to redeem the process by ensuring that eligible voters are not disenfranchised.

Editors advise the political class, security agents and the populace to be cautious in their utterances, abide by the rules of campaigning and exhibit tolerance before and during the elections to avoid over-heating the polity. “Security agencies, particularly, should be non-partisan,” it said in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Lagos on Wednesday.

The Guild laments 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, IDPs.

The crises, it said, call for harmonisation of efforts, change of tactics, and a review of the country”s security architecture, to win the war.

The Guild also notes that the sudden sharp fall in global oil prices is a wake up 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,” it said.

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.

It therefore calls for increased allocation to the education sector, and training and retraining of teachers.

While it appreciates the unifying role of Sports globally, the Guild laments that as the Nations Cup kicks off in January 2015, the 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 bedevilling the nation”s sports sector with promptitude,” it said.

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