The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that the result that will be announced for the November 11 governorship election will be a reflection of the wishes of the people of Kogi state.
Kogi State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Hale Gabriel Longpet, gave the assurance at a meeting with Kogi media executives in Lokoja on Tuesday as part of preparation for the election.
Longpet said INEC is committed to changing the bad reputation associated with elections in Kogi State.
While urging political parties to campaign and debate on issues rather than making unfounded statements, Dr. Longpet urged the media to educate and sensitize people on the need to collect their PVCs.
“All we want is for the people of the state to demonstrate a change of attitude toward election and ensure that the election is credible and peaceful.
“Therefore, political actors should not do anything that will negatively affect the election, but to support the commission to succeed for the good of the state,” he said.
A National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, who declared the forum open, commended the long-standing relationship between the commission and media practitioners.
Prof Ajayi urged the media to be professional in the discharge of their duties during the election and urged them to avoid any report that may cause break down of law and order
He urged the media to be mindful of the secrecy of the ballot and added that announcement of result is the exclusive preserve of the Commission.
The National Commissioner urged the media not to interfere with the election process and refrain from anything untoward that would affect the smooth conduct of the election.
Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, appealed media practitioners to ensure ethics in their reportage.
Oyekanmi said that the appeal became imperative because of the reoccurring cases of fake news in the media in recent times.
“As stakeholders, the media should refuse the temptation to move away from facts as being seen in social media, where fake news has become the order of the day.
“Let’s practice in accordance with the ethics of the profession and the laws of the land to help INEC succeed in its task of conducting credible, peaceful and successful election in Kogi come Nov 11,” he said.
Chairman of Kogi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Adeiza Momohjimoh, assured of adherence to professionalism by working Journalists in the state before, during and after the governorship election.
Momohjimoh tasked INEC to provide journalists with accreditation cards and ensure adequate security for the smooth coverage of the poll.