Ahead of the forth coming general elections, Journalists in the state have been asked to be fair and unbiased in their reporting of political events.

Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada, represented by his Media Assistant on Print, Yekini Jimoh, gave the charge in a message to declare open a one day workshop on the media and election coverage in Nigeria organized by the correspondents chapel of the State NUJ.

Capt Wada described the role of the media as crucial to the success of the general election, appealed to journalists not to take side in their reporting, noted that media reports largely influence the conduct of electorates before, during and after elections, asked them to more importantly put the unity of the country and the sustain ability of the nation’s democracy as pivotal in their reporting.

The Governor tasked Journalists to help douse tension and anxiety ahead and after the election, appealed to the media to preach the oneness and unity of the country with their reporting.
While he commended the role played by the media in creating awareness and in sensitizing the electorates ahead the coming elections, Capt Wada urged Nigerians especially politicians to play by the rules of the game.

Earlier in a remarks, the State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Ali Atabor, said the success of the forthcoming polls lies in the hands of Journalists in their accurate reporting of events, before, during and after the polls, appealed to them to write their names in gold as protectors of the nation’s democracy.

Comrade Atabor said the workshop which aims at equipping working Journalists to be fair and professional in their reporting could not have come at a better time, said accurate reporting of events make election to be credible.

The Chairman added that his council has put in place machinery to also monitor the conduct of Journalists who will report the election, expressed optimism that after the workshop Journalists in the state will live above board in their reporting of the general election.

Earlier in a welcome remarks, Adamu Idakwo, State Chairman of Correspondent’s Chapel, said the workshop is geared towards sharpening the skills of members, for effective reporting of the general elections. The Chairman appealed to reporters to see themselves as tools to ensuring credible and fair polls.

In a paper presentation, the Kogi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alh Aliyu Tai, represented by Bar Zagana Gbaje, Senior Legal Officer of INEC, warned against sensational reporting.

Alh Aliyu said Journalists should not report along religious, ethnic and party lines, said severe sanctions await those who will be found wanting by the commission.

The INEC REC listed several other offenses that could be committed by the media that could affect the smooth conduct of the pools, urged for professionalism in the discharge of their function before, during and after the election.

Various speakers at the workshop who included Abu Micheal, Representative of the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Kola Adeyemi, Bureau Chief of NAN, Adeiza Momoh Jimoh, GM Prime FM lokoja, said the workshop is timely as it will help reporters to be professional in the reporting by adhering strictly to laid down laws guiding reporting of election activities.

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