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Editors task politicians on credible 2019 presidential elections

Funke Egbemode, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors

As the 2019 general elections draw near, Nigerian Guild of Editors has tasked the media, political parties and the electorate on the need for a peaceful, transparent and credible election.

The five-day conference, which was held in Asaba, Delta State capital, had ‘Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and the Nigeria Media’ as theme.

The conference was declared open by Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

A communiqué after extensive deliberation was made available to the media.

Firstly, the editors commended the 91 political parties in the country for their maturity during the primaries but condemned allegations of vote buying, which they described as “subtle but worrisome way of institutionalising corruption.”

They also bemoaned the level of insecurity in the country, stressing that the nation deserves more than political slogans when it comes to security.

The conference urged Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the sustenance of democracy by remaining neutral during the elections.

The editors also proposed that publishers and policy makers of media establishments should not engage in partial politics through commoditisation of information, but strive to ensure objectivity every time.

They also challenged journalists to mobilise the electorate into making the right choices through unbiased information characterised by investigative, truthful, balanced and analytical reportage.

Furthermore, they tackled the issue of false and sensationalised reportage on social media, which they said has consistently threatened the principles of ethical journalism, which is the forte of traditional media.

They vowed to always defend the truth through professional practice.

Politicians were advised to avoid playing dirty politics during the elections so as to prevent bad blood and security agencies were warned not to bully the electorates, but allow them vote candidates of their choice.

They expressed appreciation to Vice President Osinbajo for attending the conference and also Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for his supporting the conference.

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