The Presidential/National Assembly Elections are scheduled to hold on 25th February 2023, the Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections are slated for 11th March 2023, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, the Hon. Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Lagos State disclosed at the event the Commission’s preparation for the 2023 Election to improve the electoral process to enhance the nation’s democracy.
While speaking at Africa Come Alive Forum 2022 organized by Africa Foundation For Young Media Professionals, Olusegun Agbaje further explained that INEC has introduced 22 innovations for the 2023 General Election to combat electoral fraud. “Some of these are biometric registration, computer-based registration of voters, uploading of results in real-time using the BVAS, security alert and notification system, election violence mitigation and advocacy tool, basic security in election duty, and so on.
He said, “The media as a critical partner/ stakeholder towards the achievement of free, fair, credible, and transparent elections has a significant and essential role to play for the sustenance and consolidation of democracy and good governance.
“Also, the media should educate citizens by carrying out voter’s education and public enlightenment through stories that effectively explain the national situation so that citizens can actively participate in the electoral process,” Mr. Agbaje added.
The occasion also witnessed prize-giving and special recognition.
Prize-giving And Inter-varsity Debate
According to the Executive Director of the Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals, Mr. Yinka Olaito, prizes were given to 15 students who distinguished themselves and fulfilled the tasks assigned in the post-2022 Funded Media Workshop of the organization which was categorized under Campus Journalism, Women in Journalism, Media Entrepreneurs, Disability and Social Inclusion.
The winners are; Kehinde Ayanboade, Precious Akintulubo, Solomon Ilomechine, Akpan Sylvia, Peace Oladipo, Helen Ogbowu Okechukwu, Godwin Gloria, Precious Nkemjika, Zainab Adewale, Emmanuel Oluwadola, Nwobi. C. Valentine, Roland Bayode, Mariam Hamzat, Caleb Ijioma, and Akinsanya Alimot.
The Africa Foundation For Young Media Professionals (AFYMP) through Africa Media Come Alive Forum (AMCAF) 2022 organized a day event at the Centre for Management Development, Magodo, Lagos State, and presented prizes to Campus journalists across tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The event featured an annual lecture, keynote address, panel discussion, prize-giving, and inter-university debate in which speakers from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, (NIJ) Lagos, Yaba College of Technology, (YABATECH) Lagos, and National Broadcast Academy, (NATBA) Lagos State well represented their schools.
Media adepts like the Executive Director of WSCIJ, Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka; Resident Electoral Commissioner, INEC Lagos State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje; the GM of Lagos TV, Mrs. Siju Alabi represented by Mrs. Yetunde Amoo; Hon Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Lagos State Mr. Gbenga Omotoso represented by Mr. Ogunlesi; Dr. Suraj Olunifesi; and others graced the occasion and did justice on the chosen theme titled, Sustainable democracy in Nigeria: The role of the media.
Mr. Oyekanmi Kayodei who stood for the Chairman while speaking on the theme revealed that the duty of the media in Nigeria is to redirect the narrative of democracy and not just follow the trends. He also emphasized the need for the media to mobilize the citizens by taking critical steps to exercise their rights.
The Executive Director of Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Mrs. Motunrayo Alaka in her speech stressed further the need for why the media should supervise the people’s representatives (political actors) at all levels and also follow up on and after the election process to attain a sustainable media ecosystem.
According to her, “The media is the supervisor of the social contract, that is what democracy gives to us. Everybody cannot be in political offices, that is why we (the citizens) send representatives there, however, the representatives need to be supervised. The press needs to supervise their promises to the people because the press stands as a watchdog and as a voice. The press defends the common sanctity of the government and the society through accountability,”
The WSCIJ Editor noted that any future for sustainability that does not enlist young people is dead on arrival, hence, she applauds the important role of (AFYMP) for their efforts in raising young people in the media profession.
“Journalism is a noble profession and it’s not a profession of losers but high fliers. The president sits, the governors sit, you as a journalist also sit, that’s why we are called the fourth estate of the realm,” she noted.
Mrs. Yetunde Amoo, who represented the General Manager of Lagos Television in her address said, “Journalists are not politicians. Our role is a watchdog. Our role is to educate and sensitize and we need to be sensitive with the choice of words and also be careful of the religion and tribe of the other. The media should not be seen as part of those who want to divide Nigeria because of the choice of our words.
“In Nigeria, the media as the fourth estate of the realm has played a vital role in changing the narrative of the military to democracy, however, to sustain democracy, the media must avoid hate speech, inciting languages, sending out fake news, disrespect for rules of engagement, bias, and favoritism in our reportage.”