2023 Poll: IPC plans robust media engagement to curb fake news

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By Joy Odor

The Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC), Mr. Lanre Arogundade has announced its robust media engagement with various media houses to curb fake news through fact-checking and to provides credible information for Nigeria voters come 2023 general elections.

Mr. Arogundade, a former President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council made this known while speaking in a panel session at the closure of Phase I of the EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN) project in Nigeria, as well as the launch of EUSDGN phase II in Abuja on Monday.

 

He disclosed that in the phase II, IPC-Nigeria, which is one of the implementing partners of the media Component of the EU–SDGN programme would engage with media professional bodies and work with the lndependent National Electroal Commission (INEC) and others, to improve on the area of fake news and hate speech.

According to Mr. Arogundade, IPC-Nigeria had brought together over 300 individual media houses in the phase I of EU-SDGN to endorse and subscribe to the Nigeria Media Code of Election Coverage to provide credible information for citizens to be informed on their choices in the electoral process.

He charges journalists covering the 2023 election to abide with the provisions of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage requiring adherence to the ethical and professional standards and also abide with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and refrain from publishing results that are not approved by INEC.

Also speaking at the launch, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Amb. Samuela Isopi said Nigeria has the responsibility to lead and inspire other democracies on the continent during the 2023 general elections.

She said as the largest democracy in Africa, elections in Nigeria matter to Nigerians, and Africa as the elections outcome will be watched and felt well beyond its borders, warning that who wins 2023 election will be decide by Nigerians.

According to her, as a longstanding partner, the EU shares Nigeria’s interest to see a solid process leading to peaceful, free, fair and credible elections and would like all Nigerian peacefully and freely cast their vote to choose their leaders and contribute to strengthening their country’s democracy and good governance.

“We are particularly keen to see greater participation of youth, women and people with disabilities. The mobilisation we have been witnessing across the country—especially among the youth— to register in view of next elections is a strong sign: it is a message from the Nigerians, from the youth in particular, that they believe in democracy.

“It is also a sign of trust in the electoral process that has made tremendous progress over the past few years and months, thanks to the reforms and the technical innovations introduced by INEC to make elections more transparent and more credible, and to reassure voters that THEIR VOTE WILL COUNT and will be respected”, she said.

She announced the European Union launch of a Thirty Nine million Euro (€39m) programme tagged EU Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) Phase II.

The launch is a re-affirmation of the EU’s commitment towards supporting Nigeria’s electoral process and promoting transparent, inclusive and credible elections in the country.

Amb. Samuela Isopi called for peaceful and issue-based electoral campaigns and encouraged all stakeholders to take a firm stance against violence, hate speech, and also emphasized the need to support and respect the fundamental and independent role of INEC as it fulfils its constitutional mandate.
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