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Oloja, IPC task journalists on code of ethics ahead of Ondo poll

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Ahead of October 2020 governorship election in Ondo State, the Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian, Martins Oloja, has urged journalists to embrace professionalism and code of ethics.

Oloja, alongside other resource persons, who anchored the International Press Council (IPC) virtual training for Ondo State journalists yesterday, tasked them on hate-speech and conflict sensitivity.

He noted that journalists are empowered by Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution to monitor governance and development of the nation, saying that “facts are sacred and comments are free.”

The media guru pointed out the conflict peculiarities inherent in the state due to its diversities across the 18 councils. He urged media practitioners to make their stories factual and issue-based, adding that the 1983 political arson in the state could be avoided if all stakeholders involved, including the media, played their roles professionally.

The IPC Director and host of the training, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said the media capacity-building session was aimed at consolidating efforts for the success of the election.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, said that the Monday verdict of the Appeal Court on reinstatement of delisted political parties would not affect preparations for Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.

Oyekanmi, who spoke at the training session for no fewer than 40 journalists, noted that there were conflicting judgments, which made the commission to seek final verdict from the Supreme Court.

Speaking on the adoption of e-voting platform for national elections, he said: “It formed part of the elaborate discussion that took place at our week-long workshop on reform of the electoral legal framework with the National Assembly Committees on Political Matters and INEC in Lagos back in February.

“We are quite hopeful. We look forward to the outcome of current efforts to amend the relevant sections of the Constitution/Electoral Act to make electronic voting possible. Please note that the law, as we have it today, does not recognise electronic voting.”

The resource persons therefore implored journalists to eschew reports that could trigger violence during the forthcoming gubernatorial election to prevent a repeat of 1983 saga.


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