NUJ, INEC stress importance of journalists in 2023 polls
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have described journalists as frontiers in preserving democracy and smooth transition of government in the 2023 general elections.
At a capacity building workshop organised for North East-based journalists, in Bauchi State, yesterday, National President of NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, said journalists contributed a lot to the democratic sustainability in Nigeria in the past 23 years.
Presenting a paper on the role of the media in the conduct of peaceful elections, Isiguzo, who was represented by NUJ National Secretary, said: “We are interested in Nigeria’s future. Therefore, the 2023 general election is also important to all journalists, especially because it will further stabilise our democracy and strengthen the democratic culture in Nigeria. The media should be more committed to improving the ethical standard of news reportage during elections.
“They must ensure that they undertake their professional duties within the ambit of the Electoral Law and other regulations. Professionally, they are required to improve their news judgment as it affects elections and election related issues,” he said.
In the same vein, the National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said the media should avail critical stakeholders with timely and relevant information pertaining to the electoral process.
He urged the pen professionals to mobilise the electorate to participate in the electoral process through awakening in them the consciousness of taking ownership of the political process, giving vent to the programmes and activities of the election management body.
“They should be publishing information and activities of political parties and candidates to help the electorate make informed choices, ensuring through their searchlight and reports that the processes and rules of engagement in the electoral system are duly complied with.
“In carrying out this responsibility, there are irreducible minimum to a meaningful relationship, partnership and engagement with the commission, the critical stakeholders and Nigerian,” Okoye said.