Be conscious of your safety in Kogi, Bayelsa, Imo – IPC tells journalists

Be conscious of your safety in Kogi, Bayelsa, Imo - IPC tells journalists

The International Press Centre (IPC), has enjoined journalists and other media professionals who will be on electoral duty during tomorrow’s gubernatorial election in Kogi, Bayelsa and Imo States to be conscious of their safety.

DAILY POST reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded plans to conduct the election in the three states on Saturday.

Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Friday, said the advice was necessary given the cases of reported tension and violent conflicts in the three states.

He said, “It is very important for reporters covering the off-cycle governorship election to be safety conscious while discharging their duties, particularly by knowing when and how to retreat from dangerous situations”.

He urged journalists who will be covering the election in the three states to be non-partisan, dress smart and move in groups.

Arogundade also encouraged journalists to cover violent situations from a reasonable distance and retreat as quickly as possible.

He also tasked them to maintain contact with their editors and close relations and report any threat to the police, their media organisation and professional bodies.

Arogundade admonished other stakeholders, especially the security agencies, to undertake their tasks in a very professional manner.

He also urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun to put measures in place to ensure the protection of the rights of accredited journalists in the election.

“Other stakeholders, including elections observers should also proactively provide journalists covering the elections with accurate information to ensure that all work together for the success of the elections”.

He added that as part of initiatives to keep a tab on the safety of journalists during the elections, the International Press Centre for the Safety and Protection of Journalists would monitor and operate a situation room to be managed 24/7 by press freedom and safety alert officers to whom any journalist who is under threat or attack can report.

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