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Mu’azu Shehu

European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (ECES) has trained over 50 journalists in Kebbi on election reportage ahead of the upcoming local government election slated for Feb.5 in the state.

Project Coordinator of the ECES, Mr Hamza Fassi- Fihri, said during the training in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday that the workshop was a three- day upon the request of Kebbi Independent Electoral Commission(KESIEC).

He said,” 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 objectival goals and offer an opportunity to dig deeper into reporting on election as the important work of the journalists.

“Elections are key moment 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, his commissioners for their invitation to ECES to support the training and for the warm welcome.

Earlier, the KESIEC Commissioner for Publicity and Voter Education, Alhaji Mustapha Ka’oje, called on the journalists to cooperate with the commission and the facilitators towards am outcome of commitment to delivering thorough, verified and unbiased publication, among others.

“At the same time, I extort you to refrain from publishing information that encourages antagonism which is likely to invite violence or jeopardise social cohesion,” he said.

Ka’oje also called on the journalists to contribute to fair, transparent and peaceful processes as part of their rile in the promotion of democracy and respect of pluralism.

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