GOCOP strengthens partnership with EU, IPC on sustaining democratic processes


The Guild of Corporate Online Publishers has expressed its commitment to enter into partnership with key international and local partners in the ongoing drive to strengthen the country’s democratic process to ensure peace and transparency during elections.

The pledge of the Guild was made through its Treasurer, Yemisi Izuora, at a stakeholders event in Lagos on Tuesday.

Izuora made the pledge on behalf of the group of professional journalists who have been in journalism for over two decades at a Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue on Rebuilding Trust in the Electoral Process, Institutions and Elections organised by the International Press Center and funded by the European Union.

She said the summit offers opportunities for stakeholders, including the media, to proffer solutions to challenges that threaten elections in the country.

She said: “We are indeed happy to be invited to this programme, which is about creating a conducive democratic environment for our dear country.

“From research, there is no perfect democracy anywhere in the world and different countries experience one form of distortion or the other.”

Izuora observed that the only unfortunate thing is that the peculiarity of electoral violence and manipulation in Nigeria and other African countries is more worrisome.

She went on to stress that “a dialogue of this nature is therefore very encouraging to continuously remind us of our responsibilities as the electorate to eschew violence, like intimidation, ballot box snatching, other political violence among others”.

The GOCOP Treasurer also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission for continuously addressing grey areas that give rise to some of the challenges experienced before and after elections.

She also noted the importance of the judiciary in dealing with political litigations speedily to allow elected officers to settle down for business of governance.

Izuora noted: “The INEC has cultivated the culture of engaging with various stakeholders before and after elections, which is ongoing for Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

“Therefore, this engagement is very encouraging and we lend our support to it and as media practitioners we too have a duty to ensure we discourage sensational headlines that are capable of speaking violence.

“Above all, we in GOCOP are working with key government agencies to eliminate fake news, whose impact has attempted to cause serious security issues.

“Thanks for organising this forum and I believe at the end we will be enriched and further encouraged to do what is right to sustain our nascent democracy.”

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