Mallam Husaini Pai, its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Plateau, while on a courtesy visit to the Jos Zonal office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), solicited closer ties with newsmen because media reports determine how elections were viewed.
“What the media say is what determines the success and acceptance of elections; ultimately, that also determines whether the polls will be peaceful or not,” he said.
Pai said that the visit was to seek areas of collaboration and support from NAN in view of its wide reach and “fanatical commitment to fair journalism”.
He said that the media was a critical stakeholder that no one could afford to ignore, and expressed INEC’s readiness to support newsmen to effectively participate in election matters.
“Clearly, we cannot achieve results without the media. The media may not need INEC, but INEC needs the media so as to enable her conduct a free, fair, credible and peaceful elections,” he said.
Pai, however, urged journalists to be professional, accurate and observe the ethics of the profession at all times.
“When you report accurately, you are also exercising your civic responsibility towards nation building,” he said.
Responding, the Zonal Manager, Mr Ephraim Sheyin, described the visit as “surprising, but very useful”.
Sheyin assured the INEC commissioner that the agency would be consistent in the coverage of its activities in Plateau.
“Our doors are always open to you; we want yours to remain equally open to minimise mutual distrust,” he said.