The Independent Electoral Commission has appealed to the media to ensure equal access for all registered political countries in the country. It has also urged the media to focus more on issues rather than personalities in the coverage of the 2019 general election. To this end, it intends to make available on its website, the
The Independent Electoral Commission has appealed to the media to ensure equal access for all registered political countries in the country.
It has also urged the media to focus more on issues rather than personalities in the coverage of the 2019 general election.
To this end, it intends to make available on its website, the manifestoes of all the registered political parties in order to give the media access to resource materials which could be used in asking the candidates questions.
“The Commission will very soon put up the manifestoes of all parties on our website, so you can have access to them as you engage with the political parties and candidates and ask them questions around what they want to offer the country rather than about mundane issues”
Speaking during a courtesy visit to the management of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) recently, the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu said “as a body saddled with the responsibility of registering political parties, we would like equal access for all political parties in Nigeria. As far as the Commission is concerned all the political parties are of equal standing”.
He posited that “as opinion moulders, the media should focus on salient issues in their engagements with political parties and candidates rather than dwell on personalities and platforms in order to make citizens take informed decisions”.
Prof. Yakubu hinted that as the 2019 general election approaches, the Commission would establish the National Inter-agency Committee on Voter Education and Publicity (NICVEP). He noted that the Commission’s collaboration with the media in the past on voter education had greatly impacted on the success of elections.
His words: “As we approach the 2019 General Elections, we also need to engage big time with the media, so that we will all continue to be partners in the business of Voter Education and Publicity. The Commission is determined to activate what we call the NICVEP, which the NTA, other media organizations and professional media bodies will be part of.”
Prof. Yakubu reiterated the Commission’s commitment to ensuring that only the votes cast by Nigerians would determine who wins in the 2019 General Elections. He however pointed out that the media also have a role in entrenching the culture of free and fair election. He commended the NTA for its fair and balanced coverage of the electoral process.
In his response, Director General of the NTA, Mallam Yakubu Ibn-Muhammed assured the INEC Chairman of his organization’s readiness to collaborate with the Commission in deepening democracy.
He said: “We are ready to partner with INEC all the way, because for us in NTA, we have a responsibility to ensure that every political party is given a level playing ground to participate and the voters are given the opportunity to make the right choices. The only way we can make this happen is for the NTA to focus on issues rather than the personalities involved”.
He continued: “INEC’s intention to make manifestoes of political parties available is a very positive step. Once we have these manifestos, we will know what each political party stands for and we will be able to question and take them to task on the issues contained in their manifestos rather than the personalities around which the parties are made”.