The Deputy Inspector-General of Police supervising the Imo governorship election, Frank Mba, has charged members of the media, Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and election observers to fact-check information before disseminating.
Mba gave the charge at a meeting with members of CSOs and accredited observers on Friday in Owerri.
“You all know the damage fake news can do to the credibility of the election and implications on internal security and safety of the people or its capability of igniting conflicts and disturbances like riots and demonstrations.
“I appeal to you as you return to the field and your responsibilities to please help us to ensure that every bit and pieces of information at your disposal are properly fact-checked before pushing them out,” he stated.
He acknowledged the role played by the CSOs and observers in improving transparency and integrity of electoral processes.
“We deliberately invited you to discuss and strengthen our collaborations in ensuring that the governorship election end in peaceful, credible and fair manner.
“When you stumble on information that you think will help the security process, please do not hesitate to send to the police,” he added.
Mba also released the police control room emergency numbers – 08034773600 and 08098880197 – to enable members of the public provide information.
“These numbers can be used not just by media practitioners, members of the CSOs, faith based oragnisations, NGOs, election observers but also by every member of the public with information.
“You are free to identify yourself and also free to release information anonymously,” he stressed.
He said the police had deployed all its resources, manpower and operational assets and was collaborating with army, civil defense and other security agencies to provide adequate security for the poll.
“We are positive that with all we have put on ground and with support of our people, we will have a successful election,” he noted.