By Frank Oshanugor
The Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) have warned politicians against what they described as politics of destruction ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The two highly respected authorities in the Nigerian media profession gave the warning at a special investiture ceremony by the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN) in honour of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, held in Lagos on Sunday. The Governor was officially made a patron of the Association.
The National President, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, and the President, NGE, Mustapha Isa, particularly commended Governor Bello for turning the security situation in Kogi State around for good, saying those bent on undermining winning strategies to score political points should not play with the lives of Nigerians.
The Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria said members of the association organised the reception in honour of the Governor to show appreciation to him for being the first governor in Nigeria to train crime reporters and also empower them to perform their roles better in these trying times.
The association noted that from reports around the country, Kogi State was the safest in the North and one of the safest today in Nigeria, owing to the sound security strategies of the Governor, as outlined by the State Security Adviser.
The Association’s President, Sunday Odita, said a leader who attached so much importance to security was one who deserved higher assignments.
Governor Bello was represented at the event by the Kogi State Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara (retd).
The NUJ President said, “When you talk about security, you talk about Governor Yahaya Bello. I know what the security situation used to be before he came on board in Kogi, and I know what it is now.
I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our political actors, we don’t need to destroy the country because of politics.”
“It does appear that some political actors want to puncture the strides of the Governor in this area, knowing full well what is coming up in 2023. We have only one country we can call our own, that is Nigeria. We have had leaders in the past, they have come and gone, if they destroyed the country, there would be no Nigeria today.
“Yahaya Bello is doing wonderfully well in the area of security. Politicians should not undermine his strategy all in the name of politics.”
He said the honour for Governor Yahaya Bello as the patron of CRAN was very apt, noting that he had brought the political touch to clean up the security system.
On his part, the NGE President, Mustapha Isa, said, “We should not mix politics with the issue of security. When we talk about the worrying insecurity in the country, some Governors join us in lamenting, they run to Abuja looking for support. When you ask them, they tell you they are not responsible. So why do they collect security votes monthly?
“One of those who do not lament, but tackle the menace headlong is Governor Yahaya Bello. That is why he is being honoured today. So, I tell our politicians, never mix politics with security. We should support those getting it right like Governor Bello to continue in that line, and also learn from them, not do everything to puncture our gains at the expense of the people.”
In his response, Governor Bello, who was represented by the State Security Adviser, said the state had responded promptly and successfully to some pockets of violence, noting that an announcement would be made soon on the recent robbery attacks on some backs.
He thanked the Nigerian media for the special recognition, saying it was a call on him to do more.
The event which attracted many journalists covering the crime and security beat was held at the Colossus Hotel, Ikeja.