The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday called on the media to join hands with it to ensure hitch-free elections across the country.
The commission made the call at a media parley on the review of the 2019 general election held in Lagos.
The Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, appreciated the Nigerian media for its coverage and reportage of the 2019 general election.
Yakubu reiterated the commission’s commitment to the implementation of all the recommendation of relevant stakeholders on the improvement of the electoral process, promising to begin with the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi and Bayelsa State.
“We are committed to ensuring that some of the recommendations that we can implement by administrative action will be implemented in the forthcoming Bayelsa and Kogi gubernatorial elections scheduled for Nov. 16, 2019.
“Indeed, I want to assure you that if there is any critical recommendation that requires immediate action we will consider it in the next few weeks when we conduct the bye-election in Plateau State in August,” he said.
President of the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Monica Frassoni, decried the condition in which journalists practice in Nigeria noting that the prevalence of fake news, intimidation and threats are some of those challenges faced by media practitioners in the country.
“When journalists are prevented from reporting the facts and speaking the truth, others with no qualification, experience or judgment are ready to fill the vacuum for a public hungry for content on social media and unquestioning of what they read or watch.
“I would like to say that this is by no means a Nigerian issue.
“This is a global and growing global threat.
“And as such we have to deal with it,” Frassoni said.
The media parley organised by INEC is part of the review mechanisms of the commission geared towards a holistic reform of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria ahead of future elections.
By Say Ramoni