The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said there was the need to strengthen its partnership with the media.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, stated this in Abuja at a Workshop on Communication Strategy for its information officers and accredited journalists covering the organisation.
Jega, represented by Dr Nuru Yakubu, INEC’s Deputy National Commissioner (Operations), said such partnership would prepare participants for proper and accurate dissemination of information on electoral processes.
He held that ensuring free, fair and credible election was not the sole responsibility of INEC.
“It is not the task of INEC alone; rather it is multi-stakeholder endeavour that requires the collaboration and diligent commitment of other players.
“The media and our in house information personnel have a cardinal role to play in civic enlightenment, voter education and sensitising the public on the electoral processes”, Jega said.
He disclosed that the commission had developed Communication Strategy/Policy for its information officers and press corps.
He added that the commission was also working to perfect the process for Election Day logistics to ensure timely commitment of voting in all polling units.
Mr Steve Ayorinde, Deputy President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), urged participants to shun biased reporting.
He advised the media not to focus on personal interviews and superficial features adding that they should provide more background and analysis necessary for the public to understand issues.
Prof. Okey Ibeanu, the Chief Technical Assistant to the INEC chairman, said the media have the social commitment to report accurate and balanced stories.
He said that the essence of effective communication was the fidelity of the media toward the society.
Mr Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Right Agenda, commended INEC for developing the communication strategy. (NAN)