INEC seeks media collaboration to deepen democracy




ABUJA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday called for improved collaboration with media practitioners to improve credible election and deepening of democracy in Nigeria.

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Jega made the call at a meeting with news manager titled, “Experience Sharing Dialogue with Media Professionals’’.

He urged media practitioners to collaborate with INEC on exchange of information to ensure that the citizens and the voters were  appropriately informed on credible election in the country.

“Really, it is very important that the media play required roles for credible elections.

“Generally a situation where there is no mutual relationship between electoral body and the media practitioners does not augur well for the conduct of a credible election.

“We need to all work together to bridge information and communication gap such that we can give the information you require to do objective and constructive analysis than doing speculative journalism.

“Ensuring mutual information and communication flow between INEC and media will go a long way to improving our election process and deepening our democracy.

“This is the ultimate goal to have sustainable democracy for all generations,’’ Jega said.

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The chairman said the commission, learning from the 2011 elections, was putting in place necessary preparations and implementations of strategic plans to conduct credible elections by 2015.

Jega said in preparing for 2015 election, the commission within the last 24 months had focused on implementation of certain structure, policy and plan.

He said the commission had tried eliminate duplications and overlaps in roles, biometric registration of voters, Continuous Voter Registration, issuing Permanent Voter Cards, training and retraining of staff.

The others were the deployment of an electoral risk management tools as well as the reversing of all guidelines and regulations on the electoral process.

Jega, however, said there were still a number of constraints and challenges facing the commission such as insecurity, funding, attitude of the political class, apathetic and inactive citizenry.

The others challenges identified were delay in amendment to legal framework, completion of the review of electoral constituencies and polling units and prosecution of electoral offenders.

“These challenges are not insurmountable and we will spare no effort to ensure that the aspirations of Nigerians for free, fair, credible and peaceful elections are actualised in 2015.

“As far as INEC is concerned, the 2015 general elections will see Nigeria taking its rightful place in the global comity of nations where electoral democracy is being consolidated,’’ he said. (NAN)

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