PAACA trains Journalists on Electoral Acts, calls for  collaborations , capacity building


A Non-Governmental Organization, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa( PAACA) has trained media practitioners  on Electoral Act, urging them to collaborate with the  Civil Society Organisations and be courageous in discharging their electoral duties .

The group also charged media practitioners and members of the public to build their capacity and arm themselves with copies of the Electoral Act 2022 released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) inorder to understand the electoral processes in the country ( Nigeria).

Executive Director, PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu, made the call on Monday, in his address at  a One-Day training for media, traditional rulers and Religious Institutions on the Electoral Act, organised by PAAC  in collaboration with MacArthur Foundation and PLAC in Enugu.

Pix- Executive Director,, PAACA, Nwagwu

Nwagwu said the aim of the training was ” to equip participants  from Media, traditional and religious institutions with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively understand and communicate the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 ,enabling them to conduct step-down training and host informative radio programs on Electoral laws.

He said media practitioners should be professional in their electoral duties.  His words:”They should stand out for something,  pick interest, use their  platform and change our elections .We need courage, we are looking for a courageous partnership. Politicians have taken over the  media space. On radio , they talk of what the Governor has done and criticism is for Abuja. We are afraid of what is near and courageous of what is far. We need to have a mind set, the fraud, the deception is too much. Election is a process. Our action is to produce active  citizens. It is  active citizens  that promote good government, “he said.

Pix 2- Comrade Sam Udekwe,NUJ Chairman

He noted that  media should collaborate with groups that mean well for the society, adding that Politicians have destroyed the Electoral  processes with bribery.”Our collaborations should be with those doing good works. Just use your small space ,find a little way and change mind sets,” he urged Journalists.

Nwagwu said for Journalists to stand out,  they must  have  an indepth  information. “Take your time to get information that can last, engage experts . There is need to ensure their opinions were brought to the floor.

“Another thing is making sure you meet the right people, balance your report and be objective.There should be  collaborations with the  Civil Society Organizations”, he said.

Pix- Harmony

The Executive Director called for ethical reporting, inclusion,  accuracy, fairness and accountability. He said Media practitioners should advocate for reforms , stressing, “they should stand out and  improve their capacity”.

In a remark, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Enugu state Council, Comrade Sam Udekwe, thanked the organizers for  the training. He said the knowledge impacted on the  participants will be stepped down to other members . ” “What one does well in the profession, promotes us as Journalists. If one does that which is  not well, it affects us negatively.”, Udekwe said.

Pix; The panelists, (L-R) Umeh, Amuta , Udekwe

He urged media practitioners to use different channels, , device ways of using technologies to perform their informative and educative roles; ensuring  that the public understand  how the technologies are used. He called for sensitization of members of the public on Electoral Acts.

In his presentation on “Understanding the Electoral Act 2022, a resource person, Isaiah Harmony, said  the Act was enacted in March 2022 and there is a plan to amend  it. He said election in Nigeria is manual.


Pix- Participants

Explaining the process, he said , “accreditations were done with BVAS to reduce voters ‘ identification theft, you vote manually, cards are sorted manually, votes counted  manually, results were entered into Form EC8H manually, results were handed over to party agents, police and observers  manually and the results are uploaded into the Result Viewing  portal. 

Harmony observed that one of the  challenges of elections is the irresponsibility of party agents,who compromised. He said people should understand how election  issues are reported., saying, ” if there are issues, get the code of the polling unit and report the issues. The Electoral Act empowers one to  petition INEC. An INEC official can be sue toto court. He or she could be imprisoned for 6 months”.

Harmony said it was not in that Act before. He described what happened in the past elections as “transactional relationship” . Political parties are not doing what they should do. Party agents signed the results when party member were shouting  that election was rigged. . 

” In Nigeria, Party agents collect money  and go away with the results, the media should report it. INEC officials  can be sued, the media should communicate that to the public.

He said Section 34 of the Electoral Act made provision to nullify what happened in Kogi state  “If a presidential or  governorship candidate dies, the running mate  can nominate another running mate. If results were presented under durex , INEC is empowered to accept it, and review it after “, he said ñ

The resource person also spoke on donation limits. He said Journalists should know there is a donation limit and  there is a fine  for everyone who goes against it..

Harmony urged media practitioners to  carry out researches under the Electorial  Act , maintain their integrity  and give each party fair coverage.

The training had a panel session on the”Role of the media in Electoral education and outreach”. The Panelists , Comrades Sam Udekwe, Ifeoma Amuta and Clinton Umeh,  spoke on the roles of the mecia, challenges of the media  and the way forward.

They called for adequate security, logistics to be provided for media practitioners on election duty,  collaborations among stakeholders and sensitization of stakeholders on their duties and on Electoral Act inorder to have good elections

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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