Imo guber: IPC, CEMESCO, journalists collaborate on way forward
I have lost N12b investment to hostile govts, LP candidate laments
AHEAD of the November 11 governorship election in Imo State, the International Press Centre (IPC), in partnership with the Centre for Media and Society (CEMESO), as well as journalists who will be covering the poll, at the weekend, rose from a roundtable, resolving to work towards the overall success of the upcoming exercise.
They also agreed to abide by the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, Electoral Act and other relevant hand books to avoid instigating violence.
The Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, represented by the Editor, Nigerian Democratic Report (NDR), Ayo Aluko-Olokun, said, during the media training, titled, ‘Media Roundtable/ Engagement on Imo Governorship Election,’ that the exercise was funded by the European Union (EU), under the Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU- SDGN 11) Component 4 Support to Media, held at Rockview Hotels, Owerri.
Arogundade, advised journalists to desist from lowering the practice, maintaining that they should be mindful of electoral footsteps to make informed decisions.
He said: “Journalists in Imo State should abide by the ethics of the profession, according to the contents of relevant hand books prepared by the IPC. Be safe and don’t run into trouble.”
In his speech, the Programme Officer of IPC, Melody Akinjiyan, listed thematic areas to cover in the training programme.
“We are here to brainstorm and exchange ideas on how we can effectively play the role expected of the media in the electoral and democratic process universally agreed.
The media should relay information citizens require to make informed judgments, monitor government and others, as well as reveal abuses of political power. Report day-to-day politics, as well as during election campaigns, provide information about registration, voting and crystallise main currents of public opinion. The media should also give a voice to a wide range of interest groups and provide the forum within which public debate could take place.”
Executive Director of CEMESCO, Dr. Akin Akingbulu, said the body is committed to handling sustained training needs of journalists in electoral coverage.
MEANWHILE, Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in the November 11 election, Athan Achonu, says he has lost about N10 billion since successive state governments stalled his investment in the state.
Achonu, while interacting with journalists in Owerri, at the weekend, regretted that he bought an uncompleted high-rise building (formerly owned by the defunct Progress Bank owned by the state) at the cost of N3 billion from the state government. This, according to him, was before the Rochas Okorocha administration, lamenting that he was prevented from completing the building and putting in place a mega modern shopping mall at the heart of Owerri city. He noted that he was also prevented from having access to part of the land.
He said that apart from this, employment opportunities for numerous unemployed persons in the state and beyond have been dashed out. Achonu, therefore, promised to change the narrative for everyone to thrive, if elected in the coming elections, saying that he would always partner with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
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