• Monday, July 15, 2024
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2023: INEC tasks media on accurate information

INEC presents certificates to Saturday’s by-election winners

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has tasked media and civil society organisations to provide accurate information about the 2023 elections.

The election umpire also reassured Nigerians of its commitment to a credible election supported by technology, stressing that voters will be accredited by means of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and there will be no Incident Form.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman gave the assurance at the third quarterly consultative meeting with media organisations and CSOs in Abuja on Thursday.

Yakubu said as the general election approaches, INEC and the media shall continue to work together to counter misinformation in order not to undermine the electoral process.

He said: “We will remain transparent and provide the required information to combat the triple menace of misinformation, disinformation and fake news as the commission does not support censorship.

“We believe that the best antidote to fake news is greater openness and greater transparency. So, we will appeal to the media to help us to fact check, particularly some of the posting on the new media intended to either delegitimise those who conduct elections or to delegitimise the institution that conducts elections with the ultimate aim of undermining the process.

“As I said, we always remain open and provide information. I know you are professionals in your own right but I have learned also in this job for some time now that a professional journalist works on account of the information available to him or her. We will continue to provide you with the information necessary for transparent and credible elections.”

The chairman also expressed appreciation to the CSOs, saying the commission has achieved so much working together with them for electoral reform.

Yakubu further said the collaboration with civil societies has enhanced; “citizens’ participation and inclusivity in the electoral process, voter education, campaign for peaceful elections.”

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He further said: “the advocacy against electoral malpractice such as vote buying and multi-stakeholder engagements on election technology and the management of logistics”, was made possible by a partnership with CSOs, adding that, “yet a lot of work still lies ahead.”

Chris Isiguzo, the national president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), said the introduction of technology in the elections has equally shown that INEC has given the people a right to choose their leaders.

Represented by Dele Atunbi, the national treasurer of the union, the NUJ president said: “With the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria under your watch and leadership, we can say authoritatively that it is now for public people to choose their leaders.

“You have done your own part in leadership recruitment processes and these you have done so well.

INEC has done so well when it comes to the issue of giving it back to the people to choose their leaders.

“This we are proud of and we call upon Nigerians to use these opportunities or to seize this opportunity to protect democracy and to protect their own interest.

You push the ball back and it is now for the people to take advantage of what you have done for us.”

On her part, Mufuliat Fijabi, the chief executive officer of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund, who spoke on behalf of the CSOs, assured of their commitment to enhancing the process of elections in Nigeria and to having credible elections.

“We use this medium to also call on the commission to continue with real-time collaboration with civil society organisations, and its turnaround on feedback as things unfold for the 2023 general election in Nigeria.

“While I commend the commission, I also wish to state clearly that CSOs as critical stakeholders will continue to do our best to make the democracy of Nigeria one that is good and one that we are proud of as Nigerians that remains a standard example for the African countries,” Fijabi said.