The United Kingdom Department for International Development, UK-DFID and Partnership to Engage Learn and Reform, PERL have tasked journalists in Nigeria to engage politicians and electorates on issue-based discourse.
They were also being urged to display high sense of professionalism in the discharge of their duties as they cover the elections, particularly in the coming governorship polls of the Western Nigerian states of Ekiti and Osun.
The Regional Officer of the UK-DFID, Mrs Bisi Oghogho advised journalists that in addition to setting agenda for politicians, they should also ensure that the interest of the people remains paramount in their news coverage.
Oghogho enjoined the participants to share learning of good election engagement practices that had worked in other societies and ensure its uptake and adaptation in their states.
“The objective of the Cross- Learning Session is to re-tool strategies for engaging politicians and electorates for the good of citizens towards the forthcoming elections. It is also intended to ensuring partnership among the media practitioners in performing their professional roles before, during and after the forthcoming elections,” she said.
A Media Professional, Mr Ayo Makinde gave the charge in Akure, Ondo State while addressing journalists in a Cross-Learning workshop for selected journalists from both states.
Fulfilling campaign promises
While Ekiti election comes up on July 14, Osun poll holds in September 22, 2018.
Makinde who is the Chief Operating Officer of Goldapples Media enjoined journalists to always set agenda for politicians with a view to putting them on their toes, making them adhere to their commitments and tasking them to fulfilling their campaign promises.
The Resource Person charged journalists to embrace good practices in the coverage of the polls and give priority to the security of lives and properties.
He also advised Media Professionals to resist the urge to allow gratifications to influence their objectivity or make them slant their stories in any one’s favour.
On his part, the Partnership Facilitator, Lagos Regional Hub, Mr Kayode Iyalla noted that the workshop was to update the knowledge of the participants on election coverage.
He thus urged the participants to use their varying platforms to educate voters, especially the youths on the need to participate in the elections, to choose wisely, to resist money-for-vote syndrome and shun violence.
The participants departed the workshop with a collective commitment to engage in series of activities that will resort to a robust, issue-based, peaceful and citizens-participatory elections in both Ekiti and Osun states.