The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Civil Societies Organizations, CSOs, and Media organisations have expressed their resolve to work together at ensuring the conduct of successful polls in 2023.
IsL source, Tribune Online, gathered that this collaboration is a necessary part of the resolutions at the end of a 2-day Capacity Building for Journalists and Civil Societies Organisations in the South-West on Media Training on Conflict Reporting, 2023 General Elections and Countering Fake News which came to an end in Lagos on Tuesday.
It was noted that dissemination of unverified news items portends danger for the survival of the nation’s Democratic rule.
The spread of fake news, according to them is capable of setting the nation on fire, especially during this period that the country is warming up for the conduct of the general election.
Media practitioners and members of the various CSOs hold the citizens of the Country the responsibility of keeping them abreast of the socio-economic and political development in the Country.
The meeting commended the INEC for the successful conduct of governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states, especially with the use of the new technology; the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS).
The successes recorded in the two states with the use of BIVAS have restored the confidence in the electorate that the 2023 general elections would be a huge success.
The meeting, therefore, called on the Electoral body to improve on its performance in the two states, noting the relevance of the 2023 general elections to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
It, therefore, submitted, ‘That Nigerian journalists and CSOs should embrace peace journalism/mediation as a way of strengthening Nigeria’s democracy. That Nigerian media and CSOs should consider public interest as guidelines in reporting conflict events.
“That media organizations should create and make use of fact-checking hubs in their newsrooms. That electoral observers/reporters should avoid languages that can trigger or escalate tension.
“That journalists should endeavour to give fair hearing, equal space, time and opportunity to all parties in their reports.
”That journalists and CSOs should remain apolitical irrespective of the pressure or inducement from any of the parties.
“That there should be a law that provides for adequate protection and safety while ensuring there is life insurance for journalists and members of the CSOs in the discharge of their duties.
“That journalists and CSOs should take safety and security issues seriously.That CSOs and media practitioners must take their stress management seriously.That the Electoral Act should be translated into local languages, for easy understanding by the masses.
In their separate remarks, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the Chairman of Oyo and Lagos states chapters, Comrade Chris Iziguso, Comrade Leye Ajayi and Comrade Demola Babalola stressed the need for journalists to uphold the ethics of the profession, IsL source, Tribune Online reports.