Stakeholders have called on journalists to partner with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advocate for the demonetization of the electoral process in Nigeria to ensure that women can also participate and strive for elective offices in the country.
The stakeholders made the recommendation in Akwa-Ibom State during a virtual media engagement on the impact of violence and corruption in the 2023 election, gender integrity and accountability, noting that the media has a very crucial role to play, not just in the dissemination of information but also in shaping opinion by reporting the right things.
According to the participants from the United States of America, Edo, Rivers, Delta and Akwa-Ibom States, the media should also advocate for the consequences for those who flout electoral regulations and rules and setting agenda
It was agreed that the media and the CSOs are veritable partners to work together to ensure the inclusiveness of women in politics by not keeping quiet when things are not going the right way.
The Akwa-bom State Chairman, Civil Society Organizations Forum, Dr. Harry Udoh, who chaired the public hearing and media briefing sessions, said the media is very critical in the development of the nation and therefore, it plays a very critical role, adding that, With the way some of the media reported the last election may have aggravated the negative situation by highlighting people they should not be highlighting.
“It is a collective responsibility to ensure gender equality to address the setbacks faced by the women. Where it is going to be risky for the reporter to report a story they should let us know . When we see what is not right we should not keep quiet,
“What can we do to change the shape of things, especially the inclusion of women in governance and what role can the media play in ensuring inclusiveness, ensuring that no one is left behind, ensuring the facilitation of every citizen in decision process. The process of the election is what gives legitimacy to the government and the issues of vote buying should be looked into,” he added
The President, Forum of Nigerian Women in Politics, FONWIP and Coordinator, National Coalition of Affirmative Action, NCAA, Hon. Florence Gbinigie observed that the country has got to a stage that every one need to contribute towards salvaging it and the journalists should partner with the CLO to report balanced stories
“It is unfortunate that some of the Politicians now have media houses and that is another challenge to reporting the truth about their boss. However, we appreciate the social media because it has a very powerful force in making changes. The Journalists need to redirect their approaches to be able to pass the correct messages across to the people irrespective of intimidation. It is always better to stand by the truth because there will be credibility, not just on the media but as an individual and posterity will always be the judge,” she noted.
Hon. Gbinigie, a former Commissioner for women Affairs, in Edo State said, the women are crucial in the country and whatever the women are passing through today, the widow women are suffering more of it , adding that, ” we must put our country in the proper perspective to be habitable by all.”
Dr. Nsekpong Udoh, Technical Advisor-Gender/Programs at Community Partners for Development in her contributions said the media can put things straight , noting that, “I always say if you cannot make it alone, you can make it as a group because if they do not listen to you as a person they will listen to you as a group and that is the strategy used in the Non governmental Organization world and it is working to open doors that refused to open.
The virtual Media engagement was organized by NCAA/WARDC under the Improving Electoral Integrity and Accountable project supported by McArthur/WRAPA and facilitated by community partners for Development