From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin Kebbi
The European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (ECES) has trained about 50 journalists in Kebbi State ahead of the local government election scheduled to hold on February 5 across 21 local government areas in the state. The Project Coordinator of the ECES, Mr Hamza Fassi- Fihri, while addressing the participants, including General Managers of Television and Radio Stations explained that the workshop was designed for three days at the request of the Kebbi Independent Electoral Commission (KESIEC).
According to him, “we are happy to have been able to set up these trainings in collaboration with our EU- SDGN partners, the Albino Foundation and Nigerian Women Trust Fund. Experience shows there is no democracy without free media. And there is no free media without committed journalists. This is why it is so important to constantly invest efforts in training journalists, supporting their professional development and keeping their knowledge up-to-date. Fassi-Fihri explained that the aim of the workshop was to achieve the goals and offer an opportunity to dig deeper into reporting on election as the important work of the journalists.
“Elections are key moments in the democratic life. But it comes with a lot of challenges, risks, pressure and sometimes even threats and violence. Reporting on sensitive contexts like elections requires high level of professionalism, starting with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the election process.
“This is in addition to a thorough analysis of the political context within which the election takes place. He said that requiring the knowledge of KESIEC mandate would help the journalists to understand the challenges of the commission for better reportage to the audience. He expressed optimism that the training would contribute to building stronger bonds between the KESIEC and the media towards s stronger local democracy. The coordinator also thanked the KESIEC leadership, the Chairman of the KESIEC, Alhaji Muhammad Mera, and his commissioners for their invitation to ECES to support the training and for the warm welcome.