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INEC: We don’t believe in censorship — best antidote to fake news is transparency

INEC: We don’t believe in censorship — best antidote to fake news is transparency
March 21
13:57 2024

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it does not believe in censorship as a means to tackle fake news.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, spoke on Thursday at a consultative meeting with media organisations at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

Yakubu said the spread of fake news and misinformation has become a lived reality in the age of information technology.

He, however, said “INEC does not believe in censorship” as the “best antidote to fake news is greater openness and transparency”.


“It is in furtherance of this policy that the commission interfaces regularly with stakeholders through our regular consultative meetings,” Yakubu said.

“We appreciate our partnership with the media and I want to reassure you that INEC will continue to work closely with you. We welcome your reports, commentaries and analyses on elections in particular and electoral activities in general.

“More specifically, some of the innovations introduced by the commission to improve service delivery to the electorate, ensure the safety and security of journalists and grant them unimpeded access to various locations during elections and electoral activities, draw from your reports as well as the suggestions and recommendations made during our quarterly meetings.


“I urge you to continue to be a bulwark against fake news and misleading narratives about the commission and its activities.”

Speaking on the upcoming off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, scheduled for September 21 and November 16 respectively, Yakubu said while party primaries for the Edo election have been concluded, only 10 parties have uploaded their nominations to the portal.

“We expect the other parties to comply before the deadline of 6pm on Sunday 24th March 2024 when the portal automatically shuts down,” he said.

“A week later, on 31st March 2024, the commission will publish the personal particulars of the candidates (Form EC9) as required by law.


“I urge the media and the general public, particularly registered voters in Edo state, to scrutinise the bio-data and credentials of the candidates which is the essence of the publication as provided by law.

“Turning to Ondo state, political parties will commence their primaries for the governorship election in the next two weeks. At the moment, 17 out of 19 parties have indicated interest in participating in the election.

“I urge media organisations to engage with political parties as well as their aspirants and report on the primaries with the same diligence and depth you report on the main election conducted by INEC.

“Doing so will go a long way to strengthen our democracy, since only the products of the party primaries are ultimately placed on the ballot paper for citizens to vote for in the main election.


“Party primaries are as important as the main election conducted by INEC.”


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