THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday solicited the support of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in educating Nigerians on laws guiding conduct of elections in the country.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of the commission, made the plea during a courtesy visit to the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle.
Okoye, who said that the commission had over time been enjoying a cordial relationship with the agency, called for strengthening of the partnership.
” We cherish our partnership and we will keep on calling on you from time to time to assist us in explaining our processes and procedures to the Nigerian people.
“This is because some of the challenges which we have out there in the field relates to the inability of people to appreciate our processes and procedures and the laws governing and guiding elections.
“We cannot do without the media. I don’t think any forward looking and responsible electoral management body can do it alone without the support of the media.
“So, when we are in difficulties, we will also approach you to assist us explain some of these processes and procedures to the Nigerian people,” Okoye said.
While noting that NAN had always given the commission adequate publicity, Okoye solicited for more support in promoting the activities of INEC in the the conduct of elections under the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Taking into consideration that we are conducting election under the shadow of a pandemic, we can’t reach all the nooks and crannies of this country using the traditional means.
” So we will keep on relying on the huge network like the News Agency of Nigeria to get our messages across.
“I want to thank you for all the support that had been given to us in the past; I thank you for the support that you are presently giving to us and the one you are going to give us in the future,” he said.
Responding, Ponle said NAN would continue to promote the activities of the commission any time it was called upon.
Ponle, however, called on INEC to strengthen the partnership between the two institutions by subscribing to the agency’s products.
“We are capable of providing jingles for the election, not only for Edo which is almost over but at the national level.
“You could also subscribe to our NAN Mobile Platform which is a medium where messages of agencies are delivered instantly in form of breaking news.
“We have been doing this for more than 10 years. We will also want the chairman of the commission to appear on our NAN forum.
“The NAN forum is a high profile medium which projects the activities of agencies and parastatals like yours, embassies as well as offers ministers, everybody who is somebody in the society, an opportunity to be heard.
“We crystallise and send the news to our various subscribers. We will do it for you and I’m sure that a trial will convince you,” he said.
He further called on the commission to assist the agency in the area of staff training.
“I understand you also facilitate training programmes for reporters; we wouldn’t mind if we are also beneficiaries,” Ponle said. (NAN)
– Sept. 17, 2020 @ 18:05 GMT |