Best antidote to fake news is openness, transparency – INEC Boss tells journalists

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By Joy Odor

The Chairman Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has affirmed that the best antidote to fake news is greater openness and greater transparency.

Professor Yakubu who made the affirmation in his welcome address at the Third Quarterly Consultative Meeting with the Media Executives on Thursday in Abuja charged the Nigeria media to counter fake news, disinformation, misinformation that will endangered the conduct of the 2023 election.

The INEC Boss enjoined the media to help the Commission to fact- check some of the postings on the new media outlets intended to either delegitimise those who conduct elections or to delegitimise the institution that conducts elections, with the ultimate aim of undermining the process.

According to him, media has a pivotal role to play, assuring that the Commission would continue to be transparent and provide the required information to combat the triple menace as an antidote to fake news.

“We believe that the best antidote to fake news is greater openness and greater transparency.

“So, we appeal to the media to help us fact- check, particularly some of the postings on the new media intended to either delegitimise those who conduct elections or to delegitimise the institution that conducts elections, with the ultimate aim of undermining the process.

“As I said, we will always remain open and provide information. I know you’re a professional in your own right, but I have also learned in this job for some time now that a professional Journalist is someone who works on the basis of information available to him or her. We will continue to provide you with the information necessary for transparent and credible elections”.

Professor Yakubu informed that there would be more frequent and intense engagements with the media ahead of the 2023 election.

Speaking on PVC’s, the INEC Chairman affirmed that the Commission is also working hard to ensure the completion of printing of remaining PVCs for new voters as well as those that applied to transfer or the replacement of their lost or damaged cards.

In the coming days, “we will also inform Nigerians of the detailed plan to ensure a seamless collection of the PVCs. We are aware that Nigerians expect an improvement in the procedure for PVC collection.

“Since the end of the CVR in July this year, we have been working to ensure that citizens have a pleasant experience when they come to collect their cards” he said.

In his speech, the National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo expressed worry over the utterances of some political elites and called on them to place national interest above individual ambition.

Represented by Tunde Bamidele, the NUJ President

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NEWS2023: NEC set to partner with media against fake newsPublished 4 hours ago on October 28, 2022By Laraba Ajibda

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said it will continue to engage with media organisations to curb disinformation, misinformation, and fake news as Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general Election.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at the Commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with the media on Thursday in Abuja.

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Yakubu, who urged the media to continue supporting INEC for successful elections in 2023, stated that the media has a critical role to play in combating misinformation and fake news that could disrupt the elections.

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“As the 2023 General Election approaches, we shall continue to work together to counteract disinformation and misinformation. We will remain transparent and provide the required information to combat the triple menace of misinformation, disinformation and fake news as the Commission does not support censorship”.

He continued, “We believe that the best antidote to fake news is greater openness and greater transparency. So, we appeal to the media to help us fact- check, particularly some of the postings on the new media intended to either delegitimise those who conduct elections or to delegitimise the institution that conducts elections, with the ultimate aim of undermining the process.

“As I said, we will always remain open and provide information. I know you’re a professional in your own right, but I have also learned in this job for some time now that a professional Journalist is someone who works on the basis of information available to him or her. We will continue to provide you with the information necessary for transparent and credible elections”.

Prof. Yakubu also called for media collaboration for the further clean-up of the country’s voter register and seamless collection of Permanent Voter Cards.

In his remarks, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo, commended INEC for the successful conduct of the Ekiti, Osun, and Anambra governorship elections, saying that this has demonstrated the Commission’s readiness to conduct credible elections in 2023.

Represented by the Union’s National Treasurer, Dele Atunbi, Comrade Isiguzo, President acknowledged INEC for various technological innovations in the country’s electoral process, which now give the electorate the opportunity to truly choose their leaders.

“The introduction of technology in the process of conducting elections has shown that INEC has given the people a right to choose their leaders.”

“With the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria under your watch and leadership, we can say authoritatively that it is now for the public to choose their leaders.”

“INEC has done so well when it comes to the issue of giving it back to the people to choose their leaders. This we are proud of. We call on Nigerians to use these opportunities or to seize this opportunity to protect democracy and to protect their own interests.

“You pushed the ball back and it is now for the people to take advantage of what you’ve done for us,” he said.

The NUJ President therefore enjoined political actors to play by the rules and sell their party manifesto without the use of tantrums, saying the use of tantrums is not in the best interest of Nigerian politics.

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