ANEC 2022: Nigerian Government Restates Commitment To Prosecute Electoral Offenders
By: Barth Ikiebe
The Nigerian government has restated its commitment to deal with electoral offenders and ensured they don’t go unpunished.
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), stated this in a message during the 18th All Nigeria Editors Conference, (ANEC), 2022, in Owerri, Imo State.
Monguno, while delivering the lecture on day two of the Editors Conference through the Head of Strategic Communications, Office of the National Security Adviser, Mr. Zakari Usman, spoke on “2023 General Elections and Security: What Editors need to know”.
“It is important to note that one of the major threats to security is electoral violence which berths national security.
“We are continuously addressing the security risk from fake news and hate speech and through collaborative efforts.
“The government is working with social media companies to ensure the safety of the 2023 general elections,” he said.
Monguno listed eight categories of electoral violence to include; party on party electoral violence; party on voter electoral violence; party on state electoral violence and; voter on voter electoral violence.
Others are voter on state electoral violence; state on voter electoral violence; state on party electoral violence and state on state electoral violence.
Monguno, however, said that ensuring security during elections was not the sole responsibility of enforcement agencies alone.
While stating that security and the media hardly agree on what constitutes national security, he urged the media to report their news without amplifying the agenda of detractors sponsoring political insecurity.
“Critical stakeholders in the electoral process including the press must discharge their duties effectively and efficiently in ensuring security during elections,” Monguno added.
The NSA urged the media to be collaborators with the government on issues of national interest by balancing their reports and promoting national unity and cohesion in their reportage.
Monguno, who further urged the media to put in place fact checking system to contend with fake news by citizen journalists, expressed concern over inciting statements by state and non-state actors.
He therefore, advised the media to take proactive measures to address the proliferation of fake news.
The theme of the conference is, “2023: Political Landscape, Credible Elections and the Role of Editors”.
Over 300 Editors from Print, Electronic and Online Media are attending the conference in Owerri, Imo State. It is the first to be held in South East Nigeria.