. Says ‘our members monitored exercise across the state, didn’t manufacture stories’
. ‘Allegations that no election held false, shows disrespect for journalists’
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kogi State chapter, has cautioned aggrieved aspirants in the Kogi State Governorship primary elections against misrepresentation of facts regarding the conduct of the elections, saying that, as journalists, who covered the exercise, they were in a better position to give account of events around the process.
The Chairman, NUJ, Kogi chapter, Comrade Adeiza Momohjimoh, said reports by certain politicians that the primary elections did not hold anywhere were not just far from the truth but also showed disrespect for journalists who covered the elections widely and reported their findings accordingly.
He spoke during a press briefing held on Sunday, after an emergency council meeting of the Union, at the NUJ Secretariat in Lokoja, the state capital.
The NUJ Chairman stated, “Our attention has been drawn to some reports in the media by politicians since the conduct of the APC governorship primary in Kogi State, trying to condemn the exercise and in a way impugning on the integrity of journalists and our various media houses.
“They claimed no election held anywhere, that results were cooked and announcement made.
“I want to put it on record that our members (journalists) went to the field on the election day and monitored the process across the state.
“Audio, videos and pictorial evidence of the exercise were gotten from the field by journalists while monitoring the process and reports were sent to various media houses, based on their observations on the field.
“Our members were fair enough to report places where voting started early and some other places where there were delay in arrival of electoral materials and officials as it is typical of Nigerian elections.
“Having monitored and reported the process in our media outlets, journalists converged at the collation center at the State APC secretariat in Lokoja and stayed up till 3am in the morning of Saturday to also cover the collation and declaration of results.
“For any aggrieved politician to now assert that all these sacrifices done by journalists amounted to colluding to declare concocted results, is not just far from the truth but showing disrespect for journalists and their media organisations.
“For us at the Kogi NUJ, we stand by the reports of journalists as published in their various media outlets on the conduct of the election.
“We want to use this medium to advise our politicians to use the prescribed ways of seeking redress whenever the outcome of elections are not favourable to them rather than resorting to blackmail and attempting to pull everything down.
“I wish to also urge all journalists in the state to continue to uphold the ethical standards of the profession throughout this election season and beyond.”
“To the aspirants who lost at the primaries, let them know that journalists are not and will never be their problems as they go in search of solution to their problems,” he admonished.