INEC bemoans vote buying seeks effective collaboration with journalists for successful 2019 polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has asked journalists to assist the commission to deliver a free, fair and credible elections in 2019 by naming and shaming perpetrators of vote trading and other electoral offences.

The Enugu State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Chief Emeka Ononammadu made this plea while receiving a delegation of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, South East Zone, led by its zonal Vice President, Comrade Petrus Obi, who were on a familiarization visit to the commission on Tuesday.

Chief Ononammadu who commended the South East, Zone C, Vice President, for his victory at the 6th Triennial Delegates Conference of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun state in October, revealed what the commission needs from journalists was a deep understanding and support.

“The issue of vote buying will be a thing of the past if journalists can name and shame the perpetrators. What we are pleading with the press is deep understanding and support because the media is a huge stakeholder in the election.

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“We are calling on Journalists to begin to shape opinions about what people think about elections. We have over 300,000 uncollected PVCs in Enugu State and we are pleading with the people to come and collect the PVCs. The media has done well in this regard but they still need to do more.

“Your antenna should be 360 degrees because the election has changed. It is only when you focus on one angle that you get your information wrong. The INEC of today is very media friendly. We have opened our doors for journalists to see how clean or dirty we are. Your monitoring is what will be very important to us.

Earlier, the South East Zonal Vice President of the NUJ, Comrade Petrus Obi who commended the REC for successfully distributing PVCs in Enugu State pointed out that there was need for journalists to be trained on election matters in order to effectively work with INEC during the elections.

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“We are here on a familiarization visit especially at this time of elections. I want to congratulate you on the successful distribution of PVCs in Enugu State. We are stakeholders in the elections and we know that we have a role to play in this forthcoming elections.

“What journalists do can make or mar any election. We believe that there is need for training of journalists in order to work effectively together with INEC. Journalists have cooperated with INEC in the past and this election will not be different.

He further urged journalists to play by the profession’s code of conduct and ethics revealing that the NUJ at the national level was already working on modalities aimed at harmonizing the use of social media which will help curb the manace of fake news.

Other members of the delegation include, the South East Zonal Secretary of the union, Comrade Kenneth Ofoma, amongst other South East journalists.

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