The Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi has applauded the Women FM, Arepo, Ogun State for its role during the 2019 general elections.
Oyekanmi who gave the commendation at the Public Presentation/Media Stakeholders’ round-table titled ‘trends in reportage of post 2019 elections issues’ in Lagos said, “Women Radio is doing absolutely wonderful. Women need to do more to support themselves.”
Oyekanmi said, “The woman running the outfit must be commended for what she is doing with that station.”
The event, organised by media NGO; the International Press Centre, Lagos was a forum to present the result of an analysis of trends in reportage of the 2019 post-election issues by 12 print/online newspapers and INEC online/social media platforms for July to September 2019, a project carried out by IPC.
Continuing on INEC’s responsibilities during the election, Oyekanmi said, INEC tried its possible best to make the votes count which some Nigerians do not appreciate.
“We tried as a commission to make the votes count, when we take actions, people tend to blame us,” he said.
On its involvement during the primary elections of political parties, Oyekanmi said, “The law says we can monitor primary elections. It is required in the law and that is all we can do and whatever we observe in their primary elections we take to the INEC headquarters.”
Reviewing the publication, Dr. Tunde Akanni, Senior Lecturer, School of Communication, Lagos State University (LASU) commended IPC for the monitoring project.
Akanni who described the project as an Invaluable tool for research, also considered it as indispensably didactic for the media, INEC and the general public.
Akanni added that, “IPC’s effort is commendably developmental. Specifically it fulfils that of a peace builder. It did not elect to merely romance with the vast data but goes on to offer what I deem as clearly as constructive and actionable suggestions as evident in the report especially in the recommendations. It is a thorough scientific study of contents of selected media and INEC website.”
One of the panelists at the event, Mr. Femi Owolabi from an online platform, The Cable at the event expressed his worry about the media failing to hold politicians accountable for their promises.
Owolabi gave a ready example of one of the promises of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu during his campaign.
“Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised during his campaign he would clear the Apapa traffic within 100 days if elected,” he remembered.
According to him, the Cable did a countdown from 29th May and till after his first 100 days in office, the gridlock still exits. He also said The Cable did the story, the Governor said he was misquoted.
Also at the event, Publisher of another online news platform, Frontpage, Sakibu Olokojobi called journalists to be cautious of press releases from the government which could be skillfully written to favour the government.
He wants journalists to always interrogate facts contained in the press releases to get a balanced side.
Executive Director of the IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade however appreciated Oyekanmi, other panelists and participating journalists for their time in participating to provide a robust engagement.