Gloria Ogbu

The President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Chris Isiguzo, has charged Journalists to carryout their role as watchdogs in the forthcoming 2023 elections.

According to him, Newsmen in the country are to execute their assignments professionally and according to the Electoral law and other regulations guiding their profession.

Isiguzo who said this while speaking on the “Role of the Media in the conduct of Peaceful Elections” at the opening ceremony of CDD/INEC Journalists Training on Elections and Conflict, in Lagos, on Monday gave assurance of the union’s commitment to unbiased, fair and ethical news reportage during the 2023 general elections.

In his words: “The NUJ is committed to improving the ethical standard of news reportage during elections. We are keen in ensuring that Nigerian Journalists undertake their professional duties within the ambit of the Electoral Law and other regulations.

“The media have a vital role to play in nation building, by being active partners in the implementation of the development processes. They are veritable instruments and are therefore central to any input-output functions of any political system.

“Our role as journalists is to facilitate easy access to information that will enhance participation in governance and ultimately enable citizens make informed choices during elections.

“The media must always beam their searchlight on the Election management body- INEC to ensure that it is impartial and competent, that it embraces transparency and inclusivity in its composition and mandate in order to discharge its duties effectively.

“The role of Journalists in the proper functioning of a democracy cannot be ignored. Their “watchdog” role should center on unfettered scrutiny and discussion of the successes and failures of politicians, governments, and the electoral management body.

“It is our hope that participants will avail themselves of this training opportunity to ensure that a level playing field is provided for all political actors and ensure that peoples’ votes will count through a highly professional management of news by journalists who are equipped with international best practices. This is the only way we as professionals can advance the course of peace and ensure a credible and peaceful transition.”