The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has reiterated its commitment to provide improved ethical standard of news reportage during the forthcoming 2023 elections.
Mr. Chris Isiguzo, the NUJ President stated this at the inauguration of a two-day capacity building workshop for journalists and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Tuesday in Gombe state.
The workshop organised was by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and NUJ, on Sensitive Conflict – Reporting, 2023 General Elections and Counting Fake News.
Isiguzo said, “We are keen in ensuring that Nigerian Journalists undertake their professional duties within the ambit of the Electoral Law and other regulations.
“Professionally, we desire to improve the news judgment of the journalist as it affects elections and elections related issues.”, he said.
He emphasised the need for journalists to actively participate at various stages of the exercise to ensure the electoral system was fair,equitable and without ethnic or regionally-based discrimination.
The President also charged journalists to beam searchlight on the election management bodies to ensure impartiality and competence.
He added that other roles of media professionals included educating voters on how to exercise their democratic rights.
He urged them to report election campaigns through providing equal platforms for the political parties and candidates to communicate their messages to the electorate.
He also called on the journalists to monitor the entire voting, counting processes and to report election results as released or provided by designated Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials.
Isiguzo condemned the recent arson attack on INEC facility in Ebonyi State, describing the act unacceptable especially coming at a time Nigerians are getting ready for a crucial election.
He therefore appealed to security agencies to provide adequate security for journalists INEC officials and their facilities across the country.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr Mohorret Emmanuel Bigun, the INEC Public Affairs Officer, Gombe state commended CDC for organising the workshop.
He said the workshop came at a better time and would serve as an appropriate avenue to discuss election matters as they effects Nigerians.
He said, in preparation of the 2023 General Elections there had been a lot of Innovations provided by the Electoral Act 2022.
He enjoined CSOs and journalists to acquaint themselves with the provisions of the Act in order to enlighten the general public very well.
Hajiya Idayat Hassan, the Director CDD thanked all the participants for their cooperation.
Hassan, represented by Mr. Abiola Kunle, the encouraged Media to be sensitive in their reportage to avoid escalating crisis especially during the election period.