The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has charged the media to continue to support the commission’s efforts against the spread of fake news.
Chairman of the Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, who tasked newsmen at the annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, held in Lagos said Fake news was a threat to national security and all hands must be on deck to check it.
Yakubu urged the the media to come out strongly in the battle against fake news which he noted was clearly a challenge to the electoral process going forward.
Affirming that national interest comes first, the INEC Chairman reiterated the commitment of the commission to the discharge of it’s duties with the highest sense of responsibility and integrity.
“As you are aware, election is a multi-stakeholder activity. As the Commission is doing its best to ensure a credible process, we also appeal to the media for continuous partnership. Managing the electoral process for credible outcome is the responsibility of all of us.”
The Chief Electoral Umpire who reassured that votes will continue to count and will be the sole determinant of electoral outcome in 2023, recounted new innovations put in place by the commission to reinforce it’s commitment to credible elections.
“The Commission has introduced many new innovations, supported by the deployment of appropriate technology, to protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls ranging from voter registration to voter accreditation and result management.
“The deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) with its dual fingerprint and facial biometric accreditation process has ensured that only genuine voters are accredited to vote during election.
“This has curtailed the incidence of multiple voting and other sharp practices associated with voter accreditation during elections. The BVAS has come to stay and will be the only means by which voters will be accredited in the 2023 General Election.
“Furthermore, the introduction of the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal has made the result management procedure more transparent. Polling Unit results are now uploaded in real-time to the IReV portal for public view. This has enhanced the transparency, credibility and consequently public confidence in the outcome of elections. The IReV has come to stay and polling unit results will be uploaded to the portal in real-time in the 2023 General Election,” he said.
Yakubu also seized the opportunity to remind the 18 political parties and candidates that signed the Peace Accord organised by the National Peace Committee (NPC) last week, to be guided by the letter and spirit of the Accord, in which they committed to peaceful electioneering campaign.
He assured that INEC will continue to play it’s part by paying attention to the conduct of parties, candidates and their supporters.
“As a regulator, the Commission will play its role to ensure compliance with the provision of the law as well as our guidelines and regulations.
“We will pay particular attention to peaceful campaign devoid of abusive, intemperate and slanderous language as well as the use of innuendoes or insinuations likely to provoke a counter-reaction resulting in the breach of the peace.
“Similarly, we will pay special attention to the observance of limits on party and candidate finance. I urge political parties and candidates to carefully study the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and familiarise themselves with their obligations as well as the penalties under the law.’