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2023: INEC warns politicians against PVC buying



2023: INEC warns politicians against PVC buying

Festus Okoye

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians against engaging in buying of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) ahead of the 2023 general elections.

An INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, gave the warning on Wednesday at a capacity building workshop for journalists in Ibadan, saying such “is an exercise in futility”.

The capacity building workshop was facilitated by the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) and supported by INEC.

Okoye, the Chairman, INEC Information and Voter Education Committee, was represented by Ndidi Okafor, the Deputy Director on Voter Education and Gender.

He said that the current system adopted by the electoral body had foreclosed any form of malpractices related to identity theft.

According to him, nothing will deny the right of any registered voter to cast their vote, except identity theft.

“It was the only reason why the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will not read a PVC,” he said.

The INEC official urged journalists to discharge social responsibilities, while ensuring those in public offices are accountable to the people.

Okoye said that the training was to further equip journalists on the legal and new system to be deployed by INEC toward a credible 2023 general elections.

“Journalism raises alarm, but such should not be false alarm. Let me remind you all that accuracy should override speed.

“It is compulsory to uphold objectivity and apply great sense of responsibility. The media is a great stakeholder in the electoral process,” he said.

Also, Dr Adeniran Tella, the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), said that INEC would always be up to the task and available to attend to everything within the ambit of its mandates as enshrined in the Constitution.

Tella, represented by the Administrative Secretary, Alhaji Abiodun Amosun-Onikate, said the information was very apt as the 2023 general election approaches.

He said that media was a major factor in fostering democracy, adding that the media play major role in keeping the citizens abreast of the current events and raising awareness in any society.

2023: INEC warns politicians against PVC buying

“Journalists are expected to have thorough understanding of all issues pertaining to elections, so as to help them convey details to citizens in simple and clear terms aimed at deepening democratic dividends.

“It is my prayer that our efforts and your inputs shall work for the development of our democracy and entrench good governance in our country,” Tella said.

In his remarks, Chief Chris Isiguzo, the NUJ National President, said it was necessary that journalists should advance the course of peace and as well ensure a credible and peaceful transition.

Isiguzo, represented by NUJ National Trustee member, Mrs Abimbola Oyetunde, said it was obligatory for every journalist to maximally comply with the ethical principles and professional standards.

“Journalists in Nigeria should work toward the advancement of the Right of Freedom of Expression, Access to Information, Freedom of the Press, Media Independence, conflict transformation and peace building.

“The pursuit of truth and public good must be the cornerstone of journalism practice in Nigeria, if journalists could properly advance public interests, earn public trust and be watchdogs of the society.

“These are prerequisites for open governance and development, which ultimately serve the public interest,” he said.

The union president said that journalists should ensure level playing field was provided for all political actors and ensure that peoples’ votes count.

He said that such could be achieved through a highly professional management of news by journalists who are equipped with international best practices.

Isiguzo, also said it was obligatory for every journalist to be entitled to decent wages, protection from attacks or hazards and conducive working environment.

Contributing, Mrs Ronke Samo, the NUJ Vice-President, Zone ‘B’ and Mr Ademola Babalola, the State NUJ Chairman, advocated bail out for media houses to serve as lifeline for journalists in the discharge of their duties.

The duo said that such should be specially dedicated to support journalists in carrying out their statutory roles in the nation building.

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