INEC, CDD, journalists proffer solutions to electoral ills
Ahead of 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Centre for Development Democracy (CDD), journalists and other stakeholders, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, brainstormed on how to tackle ills associated with elections.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day CDD/INEC Journalists Training on Elections and Conflict, the President of Nigeria Union of Journalists, (NUJ), Mr. Chris Isiguzo, urged the media to always focus on INEC to ensure it is impartial and conducts free and fair elections that would usher in vibrant leadership come 2023.
Isiguzo, in his paper, “Role of the Media in the Conduct of Peaceful Elections”, urged media practitioners, being the watchdogs of the society, to be concerned with “unfettered scrutiny and discussion of the successes and failure of politicians, governments, and the electoral management body.” He said: “It is the duty of journalists to report election results as released by INEC, and monitoring the entire process of vote-counting.
“They should scrutinise the electoral process itself, including electoral management, in order to evaluate the fairness of the process, its efficiency, and its probity. Journalists must provide information that, as far as possible, avoids inflammatory language, thus helping to prevent election-related violence.”
He advised journalists to avoid reports based on hatred, saying fake stories can destroy a society. Speaking earlier, Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Johnson Alalibo, appealed to the media to always give accurate reports on the Commission’s activities.
On his part, the Director, CDD, Idayat Hassan, who spoke through Mr. Ihekoronye Damian, said journalists and NGOs were duty-bound to expose the consequences of fake news, considering its adverse effects on the society.