The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), says it will deploy no fewer than 300 observers to monitor the Nov. 16 Governorship Election in Kogi.
Mr Ausitn Aigbe, CDD’s Senior Programme Officer, disclosed this in Lokoja on Monday, at a seminar on fake news organised in collaboration with the Kogi Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Aigbe said there was need for adequate monitoring of all stages of the election to ensure credibility.
He said that the interest of the centre in the electoral process was to check manipulation and other forms of irregularities.
“Our interest is to ensure that a credible, free, fair, acceptable and conclusive poll is achieved.
“It is time for the nation to rise above the challenges of conducting credible and acceptable elections,’’ he said.
The CDD official said the centre was working with support from the National Democratic Institute and USAID, to ensure electoral credibility.
Aigbe said that journalists had a huge role to play in the success of the electoral process through adherence to reportorial ethics.
“Journalists will help the process by ensuring that facts are crosschecked, verified and balanced.
“They also must ensure that their reports are not fake or made up of half truths,” he said.
The Programme Officer urged newsmen to avoid fake news and planned propaganda which were intended to distort facts to favour certain parties.
Aigbe stated fake news was a small portion of a bigger propaganda’, saying, `is has the potential to destroy a nation’
“As a state, Kogi is not moved by religion but by ethnicity; ethnicity moves people in Kogi more than religion.
“We must not allow it to trigger violence across the state, and so we have a responsibility as journalists to right the wrongs.
He urged journalists to publish information that could be relied upon for society’s growth.
“Always check your facts before publication, if you cannot verify a news item, do not use it,” he said.