2019 Elections: NUJ advocates power of prosecution for INEC

The Benue chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has recommended full powers for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute offenders in subsequent elections.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman

The workshop which was facilitated by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, in collaboration with INEC and National Orientation Agency (NOA) was aimed at training journalists on election coverage and reportage.

The union in the state identified causes of political violence as, hate speech during campaigns, unilateral change of election dates, fake news, presence of thugs to disrupt electoral process, vote buying, cultism among others.

It also listed other causes to include death and destruction of property; noting that youths, women, children and the elderly, were the most vulnerable during electoral crises.

They blamed politicians, the media and party officials, for exacerbating political crises, while youth groups were fingered as the main activists during such crises.

They also suggested that INEC be given full charge of all electoral issues, including security during election period.

The Benue NUJ suggested the adoption of electronic transmission of results to minimise falsification.

It also called for the inclusion of Internally Displaced Persons to exercise their franchise during the polls.

The union further resolved to be sensitive in reportage, avoid publication and dissemination of unconfirmed reports; as well as carry out in-depth analysis and research before reporting.

The journalists reiterated their commitment to propagating the slogan of #Vote in peace, Vote for peace; and to ensure that elections were free, fair and credible.

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