By Aliyu Dangida
Since its humble beginning on May 20, 1961, the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has had what Mr. Lanre Idowu, fnge, calls “uneven steps” in its march to prominence as a professional body. The 28 founding Editors had lofty ambitions, which they set out in seven-point ‘aims and objects.’ These ‘Abibu Oki Declarations’ are as relevant today as they were then. Pursuing those ideals, I have developed a vision statement and an agenda as we head to Owerri to elect the 23rd President and EXCO of our Guild.
To provide unwavering leadership in promoting media freedom, professionalism, media enterprise, and respect for the media in a digital environment.
1. LEADING WITH INTEGRITY: To truly serve as “genuine pathfinders of enduring national development” as envisaged by Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), NGE must lead with integrity. As the president of the Guild, I promise to show an example by leading from the front with integrity.
2. JOURNALISTS’ TRUST FUND: The Guild, under my watch, will establish a trust fund to help distressed registered members. The Trust Fund will also provide legal assistance to members of the Guild who may face harassment and intimidation during the discharge of their official duty. The new Standing Committee will unveil the funding and disbursement criteria.
3. REVIEW OF OUTDATED MEDIA LAWS: The media ecosystem has a plethora of laws, some of which are outdated. The Guild, under my watch, will lead an advocacy campaign for a review of these archaic laws.
4. LATEEF JAKANDE LECTURE SERIES: It’s on record that the venerable late Alhaji Lateef Jakande was the convener of the meeting that led to the establishment of NGE in 1961. He also served as the Guild’s first president. Under my watch, the Guild will institute an annual lecture in his honor.
5. PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION: Under my watch, the Guild will intensify efforts in promoting professional education, which will help members to cope with the digital disruption in the media enterprise.
You can help actualize these ambitious goals if you plan to be in Owerri and elect me as the 23rd president of the Guild. Together, we can take our 62-year-old Guild to greater heights.