AHEAD of the November 11 governorship in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again expressed concern over the rising cases of fake news and misinformation.
The National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Kunle Ajayi made the remark on Monday in Nasarawa at a two-day capacity building and workshop for INEC Press Corps on ethical, safety practices and critical issues relating to the forthcoming polls.
Ajayi stated that fake news was capable of having a negative impact on the management of elections in the country if not curtailed.
He noted that while reporting on election matters, the media must address issues with a deep sense of professionalism, journalistic ethics and high standards.
Ajayi stressed that the Commission’s distasteful experience with fake news in the 2023 general election has shown that, if not curbed, it can become the bane of election management in Nigeria.
“Disinformation is used to provoke religious, political, and tribal sentiments in an already polarized society such as ours, especially, during election season, which is often the leading cause of electoral violence and uprisings,” he said.
“Election-related disinformation has become a major strategy used by nefarious individuals and groups in the political space to manipulate the general public to their advantage, regardless of the consequential effect such propaganda may have on the peace and stability of the electoral process and the country at large.”
Ajayi appealed to the media to be objective and unbiased in their reportage, while avoiding fake news and inflammatory stories.