2023: INEC seeks media collaboration against fake news
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has sought for media collaboration toward checking the spread of fake news, as it prepares for 2023 general election.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu stated this at the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with the media on Thursday in Abuja.
Yakubu who solicited for continuous support of the media for 2023 poll, said that media practitioners had critical role to play in the fight against fake news that may have negative impact on the election.
“As the 2023 general election approaches we shall continue to work together to counteract disinformation and misinformation.”
“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’ll appeal to the media to help us to fact check, particularly some of the posting on the new media intended to either to delegitimise those who conduct elections or the institution that conducts elections with the ultimate aim of undermining the process,” he said.
Yakubu added:“ As I said, we always remain open and providing information. I know you’re a professional in your own right but I have learned also in this job for sometimes now that a professional journalist is who he is on account of information available to him or her.
“We will continue to provide you with the information necessary for transparent and credible elections.”
He called for more collaboration with the media collaboration toward cleanup of the country’s voter register and seamless collection of Permanent Voter Cards.
In his remarks, National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Chris Isiguzo, commended INEC for successful conduct of Ekiti, Osun and Anambra governorship election.
Isiguzo, represented by the NUJ National Treasurer, Mr Dele Atunbi , also commended the INEC chairman for the various technology innovations into the country electoral process.
“The introduction of technology in the process of conduct of election has equal shown that INEC has given the people a right to choose their leaders.”
“With leadership recruitment process in Nigeria under your wash and leadership, we can see 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,” Isiguzo said.
He urged political actors to play by the rule and sell their party manifesto without the use tantrum, saying the use of tantrum was not in the best interest of the Nigeria politics.
Isiguzo also urged media practitioners to be professional in their practice to help combat fake news and the use of hate speech or unprintable words during campaigns. (NAN)