11 November 2019. Voice of Nigeria. The Nigerian Guild of Editors has elected Mr. Mustapha Isah as Acting President of the Guild.
The Standing Committee according to Article 13(4) constituted itself into an Electoral College to elect the new President to fill the vacant position of Mrs Funke Egbemode as President, upon her appointment and acceptance of offer as Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in Osun State.
The Standing Committee resolved that the Federal Government should rescind the decision to regulate the Social Media, as such measure is in clear contravention of Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution (As amended), which guarantees every Nigerian citizen the right to “freedom of expression, including the right to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”
The Guild however urged the government to engage the founders and promoters of social media, namely: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among others – to creatively find ways of sieving information disseminated through their respective channels, to curtail extremisms of violence and hate speech.
The committee also agreed that Nigeria has enough extant laws, including the Cyber Crime Act 2015, to deal with issues of ‘hate speech’ and ‘Fake News’. It urges the government to test such laws in the courts of competent jurisdictions in accordance with due process of the law rather than create another legal instrument and atmosphere that would give agents of state the latitude to harass and criminalise citizens especially journalists.
The Guild has called on government and security agencies to release forthwith all journalists being detained nationwide, as their continued detention run contrary to the grains of the Constitution.