The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Imo State, Prof Francis Ezeonu, has charged media practitioners on the country to make extra effort to consolidate the democracy they fought for. The young people are advantaged by the large number, yet there is do much Apathy.
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Making his remarks on the expectation of the media in the coverage of electoral process, Prof Ezeonu appreciated the pivotal role the media played in the struggle for independence as well as in the return to civil rule, and urged practitioners to ensure that they disseminate accurate and timely information to people of Nigeria.
Speaking today to members of Online Media Practioner Association of Nigeria (OMPAN) , he charged them to always ensure they have a balanced reportage.
He lamented the spate of hate speeches and sensational journalism, adding that the press should use it’s influencesl to enlighten the electorate.
“As a watchdog of the society, I expect members of the Press to always crosscheck their facts before dishing them out ” pointing that efforts should be made to always present a balanced reportage of events.
Prof Ezeonu explained that electoral activities ran in three phases of pre-election, election day and post election and appealed to the practitioners to help out with the voter education, sensitization and mobilization of the electorate.
He expressed worry about the high number of unclaimed Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the state.
He assured media practitioners in the State that he would work within the ambit of the law and pledged his commitment to be honest, open and transparent in all his dealings in the state. Appealing on the practioners to also acquaint themselves with the knowledge of the procedures and the supporting laws and the legislative instruments that govern the actions of the commission.
He confirmed that the voters registration exercise is a continuous exercise but was suspended so as to have ample time to produce the Permanent Voters Card before the elections.
The members of OMPAN present at the media parley commended the REC for his transparency in running the affairs of the Commission and for his confidence building efforts. They promised to use their media platforms in ensuring there is proper sensitization of the masses. As opinion moulders, they would ensure positive attitudinal change of the electorate.
Today, we have taken a bold step by forging a strong partnership with INEC in the area of sensitization and mobilization of youths in the state so as to have our youths more involved in the electoral process.
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