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INEC yet to sign contract for voter registration machines

LAGOS—INDEPENDENT  National Electoral Commission, INEC, is yet to sign contracts for the procurement of Direct Data Capture, DDC, machines to be used for registration of voters for the 2011 elections.

Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, said at the inaugural media owners/ editorial forum organized by the commission in Lagos, yesterday, that the contract papers were undergoing due diligence.

Idowu, who represented the INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the commission would deliver credible elections in 2011, adding: “The 2011 election will be credible and will be seen to be credible.”

He said the media had a crucial role to play in ensuring credible elections and must understand the issue to be able to report properly, stressing: “Without media understanding the issues, the public will also not understand.”

A media consultant, Mrs. Dupe Ajayi, said the media should ensure objectivity and balance in their reportage of politics.

Ajayi who contended that media ownership was the current problem with credibility,  noted that with politicians being major media owners, credibility of reports could be a problem.

She stressed that media professionals should be fair gatekeepers.

Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, Mr. Daouda Toure, whose address was read by Ms Toyin Adewale_Gabriel, said the body organised the forum to ensure that Nigeria had credible, transparent and globally accepted elections in 2011.

Toure  said: “ Nigeria has a long and strong tradition of civil society which represents the diverse nature of the Nigerian society. The mass media, in particular, have contributed to this tradition because of their role in the struggle for independence and resistance against military rule.”


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