IPC urges journalists to be conscious of their safety
Journalists and other media professionals covering today’s governorship election in Edo State have been urged to take responsibility for their personal safety.
The leadership of the International Press Centre (IPC), yesterday, made the call via a press statement by its Safety Alert Officer, Melody Lawal.
The Centre tasked journalists to tread extra miles to ensure their personal safety during and after the exercise.
The statement quoted the Executive Director of the Centre, Lanre Arogundade, as saying that the advise became necessary following the emerging “accusations and counter accusations by political actors and other players in the electoral process about possible violence.
Arogundade, who noted that the signing of a peace accord between the two major candidates in the election has allayed fears, observed that violence in elections “is often unpredictable hence staying safe should be priority.”
Noting that “journalists are expected to be non-partisan,” Arogundade stated that being partisan, “is not only being a member of a political party, but also includes the use of expressions or impressions with statements, tags, symbols and colours that portray or identify with a particular political party or personality.”
He urged other stakeholders, especially the security operatives, to undertake their tasks in a “very professional manner”, adding that they need to recognise that the media “is a critical factor for credible and peaceful elections.”
“The security forces should note that the media is a critical part of the electoral process and so the media should be accorded due rights and privileges to enable them carry out their social obligations as partners in ensuring the credibility of the electoral process.
“Other stakeholders including election observers should also proactively provide journalists covering the elections with information to ensure that all work together for the credibility of the electoral process,” he said.