January 27, 2023



2023 polls, media and must prioritise “anti-corruption, accountability points”  

BAYO AGBOOLA opinions a few of the components that may make for profitable 2023 common elections which had been the highlights of a workshop held in Ibadan Oyo state 

With few months to the 2023 common elections, concerted efforts are ongoing by involved stakeholders in the direction of guaranteeing a free, truthful and flawless elections in and throughout the nation.

This consists of eradicating all of the foreseen circumstances able to disrupting the nation’s growing democracy. 

Considered one of these efforts was a workshop/coaching of journalists on the theme: “Prioritising Anti- Corruption and Accountability points in the course of the upcoming 2023 elections.” 

Goal of workshop

Organised for media practitioners in Ibadan, by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, (CISLAC), the Government Director Auwal Musa Rafsanjani who declared the coaching open, mentioned the mission was aimed “to cut back corruption in Nigeria by sensitising residents’ teams and provoking assist for anti corruption amongst electoral officers, political events, frontline candidates, and significant curiosity teams and networks concerned within the 2023 electoral processes in choose states”

He additional mentioned, “with the 2022 primaries and the gubernatorial elections in Nigeria bringing to the fore the truth of vote buying and selling in addition to the present challenges confronting the nation equivalent to corruption in electoral processes in addition to an upsurge in insecurity, it’s secure to say that there’s an pressing must accord precedence to anti-corruption and accountability in the course of the upcoming elections.”

He emphasised that the programme was additionally “to coach journalist on the necessity for transparency within the political processes, must advocate for the enforcement of the legal guidelines guiding political occasion financing and the demerits of vote buying and selling.

“If you happen to take a look at the not too long ago concluded Osun state elections, you’ll discover the rampant vote buying and selling. It has been noticed that anti-graft companies had been making arrests and we commend them. 

“Nevertheless, prosecutions and convictions of those offenders in addition to the politicians sending these people on these errands have to be enforced and applied.

“The funds used for vote buying and selling and electoral bribery are channelled by means of our monetary establishments, and it’s important for the anti-graft companies to focus on these channels additionally. 

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Want for anti-graft companies states, LGA

“Contemplating the rising focus of anti-corruption on the federal degree, CISLAC at the moment advocates for the necessity to have anti corruption initiatives and entities on the sub-national ranges and this mission which is applied with assist from the MacArthur Basis advocates for that. 

Improved media 

The mission plans to advocate for: improved capability of the media to analyze the presence of soiled cash in Nigeria’s political processes and eventually, enhance residents demand for accountability within the funding of political processes, educating voters on the best way to train their democratic rights, scrutinizing the electoral course of itself, together with electoral administration, to judge the equity of the method, its effectivity, and its probity”, he mentioned.

Auwal Musa added, “The media performs a vital function earlier than, throughout and after the election course of by informing, regulating, and usually setting the tone of the election in addition to the reception of the election and its verdicts. 

They’re important for guaranteeing transparency, accountability and participation as basic components of excellent governance and human rights-based improvement. The media will not be solely the shepherds of democracy – representing the voice of the folks, however additionally they play an indispensable function within the correct functioning of a democracy. 

“In latest instances, we now have seen makes an attempt by the federal government to stifle the free press by fining them for revealing the reality to giving them fines for therefore known as money owed when the federal government itself is a champion of borrowing and debt.”

“CISLAC has pushed again on every of those instances and be assured that we’ll proceed to advocate for a free press. The important function of the media in contributing to rising political unity, political participation of the citizenry, and in influencing political discourse, notably throughout elections can’t be over emphasised. 

“Universally, the function of the media in data dissemination and public enlightenment by means of the supply of platforms for electoral campaigns, public debate and voter schooling is a pre-condition without spending a dime and truthful elections”. 

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He maintained that, “with out the media, safeguarding the credibility and transparency of the electoral course of could be futile. Whereas a free and goal media can foster transparency by disseminating vital electoral data, a stifled or compromised media can undermine the electoral course of, in the end weakening democracy.

“To all intents and functions, the media has continued to play a key function within the wrestle for, and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. In truth, the media performed a pivotal function within the wrestle for the return of democracy in 1999.

“CISLAC is due to this fact calling on the media to maintain this spirit and proceed to carry authorities accountable.This hopefully, will instil some degree of sanity within the Nigerian political elites whose actions proceed to tarnish the great picture of the nation as a democratic area which operates inside the purview of most respect for the rule of regulation”.

Media as stabiliser of democracy 

Tasking journalists on the necessity to beam their searchlight on the chief, the legislative and judiciary arms of presidency in the direction of stabilizing our democracy, he cautioned towards falsehood which might mar the overall elections and as such the 2023 common elections ought to be a complete change from what the difficulty of elections was once in Nigeria.

 “If the knowledge is fake, it could actually destroy the nation, however whether it is true, it could actually assist to form the nation. The important function of journalists can’t be over emphasised. All of you listed below are representatives of assorted media organisations within the nation. This programme is a brainstorming on the best way ahead not a coaching as a result of when you have not been skilled, you’ll not be right here. 

“We wish you to prioritise problems with anti-corruption and accountability as we method the 2023 common elections. That is to make sure free and truthful elections. The “intention of  this brainstorming is to let you realize that you’ve crucial function to play in guaranteeing accountability in the course of the elections”. 

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Readiness of media for 2023 polls

Oyo state chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Alhaji Ademola Babalola, in his remarks emphasised the readiness of journalists within the state 

in the direction of guaranteeing a profitable 2023 polls, particularly, in becoming a member of within the campaign at prioritising Anti Corruption and Accountability.

Papers introduced

Two papers had been introduced “Strategies in (Investigative) Reporting and the best way to construct tales by Taiwo Hassan Adebayo, (Editor Investigation, Premium Occasions).

The Guardian Newspapers’ Bureau Chief, Dr. Bridget Onochie, in her presentation, entitled: “The way to successfully navigate challenges confronted by journalist in Nigeria”  outlined a journalist as ” a person who collects or gathers data in type of textual content, audio or photos and processes identical to be information – worthy earlier than sharing to the general public. 

“This act is named journalism. So, a journalist consists of all practitioners who have interaction the usage of textual content, sound or video to disseminate data. Journalist isn’t anybody that may ship data to the general public”.

Inspirations drawn 

The contributors agreed that the coaching was well timed and really mandatory contemplating the rising wave of monetisation of elections within the nation which grew to become extra pronounced within the days of ‘Dibo ko sebe’ (forged your vote and receives a commission) slogan to this horrifying period of ‘Naira for naira’, ‘Greenback for greenback’, ‘Pound for pound’ which instantly or not directly is on yearly foundation is quick eroding the fantastic thing about Nigeria’s democratic construction.

This was mentioned to have disadvantaged Nigerians the actual dividends of democracy as these spending cash in election time would undoubtedly consider how and methods to recuperate all what was dedicated to their election.

Certainly contributors on the coaching had been impressed after in depth deliberations on the shows. 

They agreed that the time has come for journalists within the nation to rise as much as the campaign on on prioritizing ” Anti Corruption and Accountability points in the course of the upcoming 2023 elections” with a view to creating the overall elections an enormous success .