The Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos State Council, Dr Qasim Akinreti has called for collaboration between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NUJ.
A statement from the NUJ Lagos state council, quoted its chairman as saying that there is need to build a relationship because 2019 general election is crucial to Nigeria and the world and the INEC must assure Nigerians of a level playing field.
The statement jointly signed by the Union’s Chairman Dr Qasim Akinreti and its Secretary, Alfred Odifa lamented the slow process in the registration and collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) explaining that the INEC need to collaborate with media organisations to ensure that Nigerians most especially Lagosians collect their PVC.
He presented the Code of Conduct for Election coverage for Journalists for the 2019 election to the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Sam Olumekun and urged INEC to ensure that those who cover the election are registered members of the NUJ.
Responding, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has so far registered no fewer than 750,000 new voters in Lagos preparatory to the 2019 general elections.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Lagos state, Mr Sam Olumekun who made the revelation said on assumption of office, that he met about 1.4million uncollected (PVCs), but today the number has been reduced to about 1.3million.
The REC spoke during a courtesy visit by the Executive Committee members of the NUJ Lagos State Council, saying that the commission would be embarking on sensitisation programme to ensure that Lagosians who have registered, come to collect their PVC.
He restated that the extension of INEC Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) ends August 31st explaining that the remaining months before the election would be used by INEC for administrative processes, especially printing of the PVC.
He called for the understanding of Lagosians, explaining that INEC is working hard to ensure they conduct a free ,fair and credible in 2019.
Olumekun urged the media to assist in fighting vote buying, especially as this new menace in the electoral system is anti-democratic adding that the media plays a critical role in development of democracy in any society.
The media, Olumekun said must be in the forefront of deepening democracy in Nigeria and that the media organisations must assist the INEC in sensitising Nigerians for the collection of PVCs.
He Commended the NUJ for the production of the revised Code of Conduct for election coverage and called on the NUJ to also regulate the activities of bloggers.