INEC seeks stronger media synergy, assures successful 2023 poll

INEC seeks stronger media synergy, assures successful 2023 poll

…says the media has a critical role to play both in Nigeria’s democracy project and in the country’s election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Anambra State has canvassed for stronger partnership with the media aimed at delivering a  transparent and successful result in the 2023 general election in the country.

The State INEC Administrative Secretary, Jude Okwuonu stated this in Awka, at a one-day sensitisation workshop for media practitioners in the state on the commission’s preparations towards the conduct of the poll.

The workshop was attended by INEC Heads of Department in the State, including; HOD Voter Education and Publicity Barr. George Edeani, HOD Electoral Operations, Kingsley Anuforo, HOD ICT, Engr. Emeka Nnaji, HOD EPM, Emma Isong, and HOD Legal Services, Barr. Sunday Nwegbeke.

Okwuonu maintained that the media has a critical role to play both in Nigeria’s democracy project and in the country’s election, just as he urged media to strengthen its activities in the areas of mobilising and educating the electorates towards active participating in the exercise.

“We assure of our willingness to partner with the media for the success of the 2023 General Election just as we ask for your maximum cooperation to ensure a hitch free and efficient experience for all.

“INEC is working hard and doing its best to deliver. The voters register is authentic, over 2 million people have been purged out of the INEC register due to malpractices like multiple registration, under age etc. It’s not possible to manoeuvre the BIVAS”, he said.

The Head of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. George Edeani, stressed the need for mutual media partnership to ensure hitchfree poll, especially in the areas of monitoring violators of electoral laws, exposing them and setting agenda for the commission for future elections.

He charged media practitioners to ensure the public was properly fed with vital and correct information, since they help dictate the pace, whether positive or negative reports always influences people’s opinions. 

Also speaking, HOD of Information and Communication Technology, Engr. Emeka Nnaji, expressed confidence on the modern technologies deployed by the commission, saying that they will not only help to achieve a good result, but equally make the 2023 election transparent.

Nnaji recalled challenges before 2010 and 2017 when INEC introduced DDC machines for collating data, there were no pictures, biodata ect, then introduced card reader before advancing to current technology designed by INEC engineers.

 “The current electronic machines used by INEC have multi-purpose services. The device is determined by the software fed in, it works three ways, 

 has extra eighteen hours battery, aside the six hours inbuilt battery to last throughout the election day etc.

 “INEC has carefully mapped every polling unit nationwide, working with the Nigerian Communications Commission- NCC, to ensure that each deployed machine is inputted with the sim card of the strongest network operating in the area”, he said.

The HOD, Legal services, Barr. Sunday Nwaigbeke, disclosed that the 2022 Electoral Act is a development which provides for release of funds to INEC one year before elections. 

He stressed that the 2022 Act has fastened procurement and distribution of INEC materials, adding that the Act is meant strengthen democracy in the country.

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