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Journalists’ safety will guarantee credible polls, says don

By Njadvara Musa, Maiduguri
08 November 2022   |   1:54 am
A Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Dr. Dauda Sharafa, has said that journalists’ safety will ensure a credible 2023 general elections.

A Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Dr. Dauda Sharafa, has said that journalists’ safety will ensure a credible 2023 general elections.

According to him, journalists are expected to provide independent and verifiable evidence of election results across the country to the public. The don made the declaration, yesterday, at a two-day workshop of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Borno State Council, to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, in Maiduguri.

He said that election-related threats to journalists include confiscation and destruction of equipment, publications and raiding of media houses by security agencies.

Unveiling the sources of threats, Sharafa, in his paper entitled ‘Safety and Protection of Journalists in the 2023 General Election Coverage’, said: “State and non-state actors, as well as media ownership interests, are the major sources of threats to journalists’ safety.”

The political elite, politicians and their thugs, including other criminal elements, constitute threats to journalists, he asserted.

“Public expectations from journalists are to expose election malpractices in each of the polling units of the six geopolitical zones in the country,” he said, adding that the public expectations could sustain democracy, voters’ education and re-orientation of the electorate. He warned that there could be life-threatening encounters with political thugs, including detention of journalists by state actors.

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