By: Victoria Agorom
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has expressed its commitment tocontinue to partner with the Nigerian Media, in its bid to conduct free and fair General Elections in the country come 2023.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu made this commitment during the Commission’s consultative meeting with media executives held in Abuja.
The Chairman noted that the partnerships with media executives and their organisations have yeilded several positive results in the past; including electoral reforms, continous and online voters registration, campaign on peaceful elections as well as advocacy against electoral malpractices among others.
While appreciating the support of the media to the Commission over the years, Prof. Yakubu further expressed INEC’s readiness to continue to work closely with the media to counter wrong information and fake news that abound in the current political space.
His words: “We will remain transparent and provide the required information to curb the tripple menace of misinformation, disinformation and fake news.”
The Chairman said that the Commission is committed to self censorship, having realized that the best way to counter fake news is transparency.
He, therefore, called on the media to assist INEC in censoring postings in the new media intended to delegitimize the Commission and electoral processes in Nigeria.
The INEC Boss used the opportunity to assure Nigerians of transparent and credible polls,that would reflect the will of the people come 2023.
Prof. Yakubu reiterated INEC’s commitment to protecting the voters register, which he described as a national asset.
Responding, the President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo commended both INEC on the conduct of Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections, which he said showed that INEC is ready for credible elections.
The NUJ President, who was represented at the meeting by the National Treasurer, Tunde Bamidele enthused that the employment of electronic voting system in the polls meant that INEC has given Nigerians the opportunity to choose their leaders.