Violence will not hinder 2023 election – Okoye

...as INEC educates journalists on conflict-sensitive reporting

Worried by the incessant attacks on its facilities across the country by criminal elements, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called for support from stakeholders to salvage the situation.

Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner, Voters’ Education and Publicity, made this known during a capacity-building workshop for journalists in the North Central region with the theme “conflict-sensitive reporting and the general election” held in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital.

Okoye said, even though the Commission is concerned about the frequent violence, the situation would not hinder the conduct of the elections in 2023.

He added that the electoral umpire remains committed to upholding democracy and instituting good governance through electoral process.

The Voters Education Commissioner noted that, the free, fair and transparent elections as advocated by the Commission and lovers of democracy will continue to take centre stage till the exercise is conducted.

He called on security agencies, civil society organizations and members of the public to intensify collaboration with the Commission to curb violence in the system.

While commending the role of the media, Okeye, journalists have responsibility of ensuring neutrality in their professional practice, viod of sensationalism and hasty generalization.

Chris Isiguzo, the National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, lauded INEC for widening its reach through collaboration with stakeholders in the electoral process, even as he advocated for peaceful and credible elections in 2023.

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The NUJ President, who was represented by Dele Atumbi, the Union’s Treasurer, reminded stakeholders on the safety and well-being of journalists especially in tense moment of electioneering.

In a separate paper presentations, the Director Legal Drafting and Clearance and his counterpart on ICT in the Commission, urged the public to put to use the recent developments in the Electoral Act to correct election situations in the country.

They assured the public that the deployment of technology in election has brought succor to challenges experienced in past elections.

The NUJ Chairman in Nasarawa State Salihu Muhammad Alkali tasked members of the Union to use the knowledge gained wisely, and pledged to remain partners in progress for the overall good of the nation.

Some of the journalists who participated in the workshop, Igbawase Ukumba and Eric Kuju of Thisday and Eggonnews Newspapers, expressed appreciation to INEC and the NUJ for organizing the workshop, and called on other practitioners to ensure discipline and sportsmanship in the cause of discharging their professional functions.

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