Participants at a one-day capacity-building workshop for journalists in the South East held in Owerri, Imo State on Thursday have called for the establishment of a committee to address cases of violence and other electoral offences in the country.
The participants said the electoral offences committee is imperative realizing that many journalists have either lost their lives or sustained various degrees of injuries or had their equipment damaged during electioneering periods.
The participants made the call in a communique signed by Charles Nwankwo, Vivian Iwu and Chuks Anyanwu.
The workshop which was organized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) noted that the 2023 elections were vital to the peace and stability of the country.
The participants assured of their readiness to partner with the INEC and other relevant stakeholders for the smooth conduct of the polls.
The workshop urged journalists to get acquainted with the code of media coverage and not shy away from their responsibilities at this crucial period.
While calling on media houses to equip and provide logistics for their reporters, the workshop stressed the need for journalists to be factual in their reportage and avoid hate speech and sensational reports.
It also enjoined newsmen not to rely on social media offerings because most of the operators of the new media are not trained journalists.
Three papers namely “The Electoral Act 2022 and the 2023 General Election”, “INEC New Technologies for 2023 General Election and “The Media and the 2023 General Election” were delivered by INEC Director, Legal Drafting and Clearance Department, Mrs O. O Babalolo; Raymond Ofuonye and Fidel Onyeneke respectively at the workshop.