Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) in collaboration with the Women in Media Communication Initiative (WIM) on Friday trained no fewer than 25 journalists in Kano on prioritizing anti-corruption and accountability issues during the upcoming 2023 general elections.
The training was conducted under the prioritizing anti-corruption and accountability issues during the upcoming 2023 elections in Nigeria was supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
The goal is to reduce corruption in Nigeria by bolstering support for anticorruption, and social inclusion among critical groups and strengthening policies and programs for anticorruption at the state level in Nigeria as the country prepares for elections in 2023.
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani said: “With the 2022 primaries and the gubernatorial elections in Nigeria bringing to the fore the reality of vote trading as well as the current issues confronting the country such as security challenges and corruption in the electoral process, the need to accord priority to anti-corruption and accountability during the upcoming elections cannot be overemphasized.
“The aim of the training is to train journalists on the need for transparency in the political processes, the need to advocate for the enforcement of the laws guiding political party financing, and the demerits of vote buying.
“To ensure journalists ask politicians key questions regarding their manifesto, and plan, especially as we are ushered into the campaign season.”
According to him, without the media, safeguarding the credibility and transparency of the electoral process would be a huge challenge.
Rafsanjani then called on the media practitioners to continue to hold the government accountable at all times.
In her brief welcome remarks, the Executive Director, WIM, Halima Ben Umar said with all intent and purpose, “We want the media to ask questions around political party integrity, anti-corruption, and accountability,”… let the campaigns be issue-based.
“Ask questions to know what plans the politicians have for social inclusion, people with disability, and affirmative action for women; document their commitments, and hold them accountable when in power”, she emphasized.
On his part, the Kano Council Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Abbas Ibrahim said the training is apt as election campaigns are around the corner.
He said: “Corruption is a monster that has caused a lot of havoc, we must check the menace,” adding that journalists have a significant role to play in holding government accountable as enshrined in section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The NUJ Chairman suggested naming and shaming corrupt persons as a strategy that may yield reasonable results.
One of the media consultants at the training, Dr. Bridget Onochie tutored participants on ‘How to effectively navigate challenges faced by journalists in Nigeria, while the Editor and Head of Investigations and Data at Premium Times, Taiwo Hassan Adebayo handled investigative reporting and story-building techniques.