Independent National Electoral Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood has said that media has a significant role in strengthening Nigerian Democracy.
"I want to reassure you that media organisations will continue to play an important role in our democratic process. Through your diligent reporting of elections, you provide valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the processes that in 2019 took place in 176,996 voting locations and 10,367 collation/declaration centres nationwide. We value your engagement with the Commission and will continue to deepen it.
For the 2019 General Election, the Commission accredited a total of 216 media organisations out of which 165 were domestic and 51 foreign. Collectively, they deployed 2,128 journalists: 1,787 domestic and 341 foreign. This is in addition to other media organisations that operate at State, Local Government and community level nationwide. We benefitted from your reportage in reviewing our processes and procedures. The purpose of interactive meetings such as this is one is benefit from your insight into aspects of your experience that may not have been reported but which may be critical to the success of future elections in Nigeria.
As we move closer to the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, the Commission will once again accredit media organisations to report from the two States. As usual, we will be available to address any challenges you may encounter in the field in the course of your coverage of the elections. Let me also appeal to the media for accurate, objective and professional reporting of the elections. While INEC does not believe in censorship, it is our collective responsibility to combat fake news. The best antidote to fake news is more openness and transparency. We are open to verification of information either through our State offices or the national headquarters of the Commission.
Once again, I welcome you to this meeting and, as always, look forward to yet another useful engagement with the media." He said