Commissioner Publicity and Voter Education KESEIC during the One Day Media Round-Table for the forth coming February 2022 Local Government Councils Elections.
By Abdullahi Tukur
The Kebbi State Independent Electoral Commission in collaboration with the European Center for Electoral Support, has organised a one-day Media Roundtable for working journalists ahead of the February 2022 Local Government Councils Elections in the state with focusd on communication and sensitive media coverage of election by journalists.
Speaking on the workshop, the Project Coordinator, European Center for Electoral Support, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, said the training aimed at offering an opportunity for journalists to dig deeper into an important aspect of the work of journalists in a democracy.
“Experience shows that there is no democracy without free media and there is no free media without committed journalists”.
According to him, reporting on sensitive contexts like elections requires high level of professionalism, starting with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the election process, in addition to thorough analysis of the political context within which the election took place.
He hoped that, the occasion would contribute to building stronger bonds between the State Independent Electoral Commission and the media towards a stronger local democracy in Kebbi state.
The Chairman, Kebbi State Independent Electoral Commission, Muhammad Aliyu Mera, represented by the Commissioner incharge of Publicity and Voter Education, Mustapha Usman Kaoje, described the media as important at creating the enabling environment for the achievement of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in the 2022 local government councils elections in Kebbi State.
“Elections correspond to periods of heightened media coverage and reporting and this transitional times are often wrought with competition, rising tensions and sometimes political violence which may result into violent conflict among interest groups”.
According to him, in an open fragile context and with a mind of conflict prevention, media practitioners must depend on their professional skills of reportage.
The Chairman however, called on the media practioners and media organizations participating in the round-table to cooperate with the agency and the facilitators towards an outcome of commitment to delivering thourough, verified and unbaiased publication or broadcasting of electoral information.
He also called on journalists to refrain from publishing information that encourages antagonism which is likely to invite violence or joepadise social cohesion in the state.
Elections are a key moment in the democratic life, but sometimes comes with a lot of challenges, risks, pressure and sometimes even threats and violence.