The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised media organisations not to allow their platforms be used to promote hate speech and fake news in the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye gave the advice in Lokoja at a workshop for journalists on Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi.
The theme of the workshop organised by INEC was ‘’2019 Kogi Governorship Election: Legal and Procedural Issues.’’
Okoye said that INEC acknowledged the positive and critical role media played as partners in informing and enlightening the public on the democratic and electoral processes.
“We also recognize you as gatekeepers and agenda setters, hence our desire to partner and cooperate with you at all times.
“You hold a public trust and as such you have the duty to promote the common good.
Consequently, you must do all you can to promote peace and harmony in our community at all times.
“Conversely, you should not allow your platforms to be used to promote hate speech and fake news or exacerbate historic, cultural, religious, ethnic or other primordial fault lines.
“Mistrust, strife and conflict, which are some of the end or by products of these, run contrary to democratic ethos and tend to undermine the process,’’ Okoye said.
He said that the media was indispensable in the task of nation building and instituting a new democratic and electoral order in Nigeria.
He said that media practitioners must not and should not depend on rumours, innuendoes, gossip and fake news in reporting the electoral process.
Okoye urged the media to report accurately and knowledgeably, saying “we are not asking for special favour, but accurate reporting of issues in the electoral process.
“You must know that your stories and reports have national security implications as one false report, especially during elections can lead to breakdown of law and order.
“We will be on hand to explain and clarify grey issues and grey areas and I urge you to seize the opportunity of our presence to enrich your reportage.’’
Okoye advised the participants of the workshop to avail themselves relevant electoral documents in the coverage of elections.
These according to him include Nigeria Constitution 1999(as amended), the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended), copies of the Regulations, Guidelines, Manuals, Gazettes and other electoral documents issued by the commission.
INEC Deputy Director, Publicity, Mr Aliyu Bello, said that the workshop was informed by the desire to sensitise media practitioners on processes and procedures for elections, particularly as it applies to Kogi.
Bello said it was also to create awareness on use of basic concepts and terminologies in the Electoral Process Bello.
“You will agree with me that, overtime the Commission keeps improving the Electoral Process to meet the aspirations of Nigerians.
“Arising from these improvements, a number of innovations have been made, thereby enriching, sometimes adding or changing the lexicography of electoral terminologies.’’
Bello said that reporters covering electoral beats and other stakeholders were often exposed to use of certain terminologies, which were often technical.
He said the terminologies could be challenging for persons who have not familiarised themselves with them to adequately comprehend what the umpire was talking about when it used such terms.
“The situation becomes worse when applied incorrectly during coverage.’’(NAN)
Edited by Felix Ajidehttps://nnn.ng/kogi-bayelsa-polls-inec/
NCDC announces 176 new COVID-19 infection in Nigeria
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Wednesday.
According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.
The NCDC said that the new cases were reported from 14 states of the federation.
It stated that Lagos reported the highest infection in the country with 73, Plateau (50), FCT (17), Rivers (8), Ondo (6), Niger (5), Ogun (5), Edo (3), Kaduna (3), Oyo (2), Bauchi (1), Bayelsa (1), Delta (1), and Nasarawa (1).
According to it, till date, 57613 cases have been confirmed, 48836 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
The health agency said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, have continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
It added that the drivers of COVID-19 were different across the country, therefore subnational understanding of transmission was critical.
“We can’t celebrate decline in national figures until we test sufficient numbers in every state,” it stated.
The agency said that in addition, most patients who died were reported to have difficulty in breathing.
“Most people who died were 61-70 years of age.
The agency said that a properly worn face mask acts as a protective barrier to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Wear a mask properly covering your nose and mouth, no gaps secured with straps.
“Remember, a face mask is a personal item and must not be shared,” it said.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta
Minister advocates return of state sports festivals to enhance athletes’ competitiveness
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Tuesday in Abuja urged all state governments to ensure a return of the state sports festivals.
Dare, while receiving Daniel Igali, the Bayelsa Commissioner of Youths and Sports who paid him a courtesy visit, said the state sports festivals would enhance the competitive level of Nigerian athletes.
He lamented the fact that most states have in the last 15 years completely stopped holding their sports festivals.
“If the sports festival is done as expected, it will increase the competitiveness of our athletes,” Dare said.
He congratulated Bayelsa on its forthcoming state sports festival, and assured that the ministry would ensure the proper development of sports at the grassroots.
Dare disclosed that the ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the state over the upgrading of the Sports Academy at Asoama.
“The ministry will ensure that the academy spots and grooms young talents for the country.
“I think it will go a long way to accelerate and deepen sports development in this country,” he said.
Dare thanked the state government for its effort in encouraging grassroots sports development in the state.
The minister also noted that the wrestling sport was one of the country’s hopes for medals at international competitions.
He then urged Igali, who is an Olympic champion in the sport, to use his talent to bring up other wrestlers to enable the sport win more medals for Nigeria.
“Bayelsa is the wrestling theatre of Africa, and this had made Nigeria stand tall in the medals category in various international sports competitions,” Dare said.
He also promised that the ministry would support Igali to seek nomination to be a member of the United World Wrestling Bureau.
While speaking, Igali pointed out that Bayelsa had been home for the national wrestling team for the past 10 years.
He appreciated the minister for his efforts to help boost sports in the state, saying the wrestling theatre under construction was nearly completion.
The commissioner then called for collaboration with the ministry as he seeks to be nominated into the world wrestling bureau.
”From history, Nigeria has not had any person who contested to be a member of the body,” he said.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi)
TETFUND pledges support to Kogi confluence university
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), has pledged support to Kogi Government’s Confluence University of Science and Technology in Osara.
TETFUND Executive Secretary, Prof. Elias Bogoro, made the pledge when he received Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, who was on a working visit to his office, in Abuja on Tuesday.
A statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Onogwu Muhammed, Bogoro described the efforts of Bello in establishing a specialised university in Kogi as laudable.
Bogoro assured the governor that the agency would give maximum support to the new university, like all other tertiary institutions in the country.
He said the idea of setting up a university of science and technology by the state government was a well-thought out one, noting that it would bridge the human capacity gap in the nation’s industries.
He said that TETFUND had core objectives of providing funding for educational facilities and infrastructural developments across the country.
TETFUND’s mandate, according to him, include promoting creative and innovative approach to educational learning and services and to stimulate, support and enhance improvement activities in the educational foundation areas.
He said that these areas included teachers’ education, teaching practice, library development and special education programmes.
Speaking earlier, Bello said that the aim of his visit was to brief the executive secretary on the establishment of the new university, as well seek the agency’s support for the rapid development of the institution.
Bello disclosed that funds necessary for the take-off of the school project had been earmarked, while calling on TETFUND and relevant international organisations to assist in the development of the new institution.
He said that in an era where almost everything was done with technology, an institutions like the Confluence University of Science and Technology would provide the needed manpower for the country in her technological advancement bid.
The bill for the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology earlier passed by the Kogi House of Assembly, was assented to by Gov. Bello in August.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
Obaseki’s re-election: Benin monarch calls for support
The Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare II, on Tuesday solicited the support of all Edo sons and daughters as well as other residents for the re-elected Gov. Godwin Obaseki in order for him to succeed.
The monarch made the call in a statement signed by the Secretary of the Benin Traditional Council (BTC), Mr Frank Irabor.
Oba Ewuare II congratulated the re-elected governor, saying, “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
It would be recalled that Obaseki was on Sunday afternoon announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the Governorship election held in the state on Saturday.
According to the statement, the monarch commended President Mohammadu Buhari for ensuring free, fair and credible poll.
Oba Ewuare II particularly commended the National Peace Committee led by former military Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, for initiating the signing of the peace accord by the governorship candidates of the political parties.
According to the statement, “on behalf of His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, Oba of Benin, the Benin Traditional Council wishes to congratulate Gov. Godwin Obaseki on his re-election for a second term in office.
“As His Royal Majesty said on numerous occasions, the Benin Throne is non-partisan and that on election day let the people speak because the voice of the people is the voice of God.
“The Oba thanked President Mohammad Buhari for ensuring that the election was free, fair and violent-free.
“He also thanked all the candidates for adhering to the advice for a violent-free election given to them during the peace meeting in the Oba’s palace before the election which have been widely-acclaimed to have doused the tension that was building up before the election.”
He also thanked INEC for the peaceful and successful election as well as the security agencies for a job well done.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi