The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media expressed their determination to work together to ensure the smooth running of the elections in 2023.
This was part of the resolutions at the end of a 2-day capacity building for journalists and civil society organizations in the South West on media training on reporting on conflict, the 2023 general elections and the fight against fake news which ended in Lagos on Tuesday. .
It was noted that the dissemination of unverified information portends danger to the survival of the nation’s democratic regime.
The spread of fake news, according to them, is capable of setting the nation on fire, especially at this time when the country is preparing for the conduct of legislative elections.
Media professionals and members of different CSOs hold the citizens of the country accountable to keep them informed about the socio-economic and political developments in the country.
The meeting commended the CENI for the successful conduct of gubernatorial elections in Osun and Ekiti States, particularly through the use of new technology; the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS).
Successes in both states with the use of BIVAS restored confidence in the electorate that the 2023 general election would be a huge success.
The meeting therefore called on the electoral body to improve its performance in the two states, noting the relevance of the 2023 general elections for the corporate existence of Nigeria.
He therefore proposed: “That Nigerian journalists and CSOs embrace peace journalism/mediation as a means of strengthening Nigerian democracy. That the Nigerian media and CSOs should consider public interest as guidelines in covering conflict events.
“That media organizations create and use fact-checking centers in their newsrooms. That election observers/reporters avoid languages that may trigger or escalate tensions.
“That journalists strive to grant a fair hearing, equal space, time and opportunity to all parties in their reporting.
“That journalists and CSOs must remain apolitical, regardless of pressure or inducement from either party.
“That there should be a law that provides adequate protection and security while guaranteeing life insurance to journalists and CSO members in the performance of their duties.
“That journalists and CSOs need to take safety and security issues seriously. That CSOs and media professionals need to take their stress management seriously. That the electoral law should be translated into local languages, for easy understanding by the masses.
In their separate remarks, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, the President of the Oyo and Lagos State Chapters, Comrade Chris Iziguso, Comrade Leye Ajayi and Comrade Demola Babalola stressed the need for journalists respect the ethics of the profession.