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Anambra Poll: Rights Group Warns Journalists On Misleading Stories

By Kene Madukife
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The Executive Director of Media Ethics and Rights Initiative, an Onitsha based media critic and responsible journalism advocacy group, Prince Ezekiel Amanambu, has warned media practitioners especially those covering the gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, to avoid getting caught as willing tools in the hands of enemies of democracy who are bent on discrediting the Supplementary Election in Anambra State with false information.

Prince Amanambu who addressed newsmen in Onitsha on Thursday ahead of the election scheduled for November 30, 2013 in some parts of Anambra State said that the warning became imperative as a result of the overwhelming negative slant in media reports on the earlier election on 16th November 2013, which suggested that the elections were marred by irregularities contrary to the facts on ground across Anambra State, as well as the opinion of genuine observers and most journalists who covered the exercise.

Prince Ezekiel Amanambu noted that the media has a responsibility as repositories of the sovereign will of the people to operate above board and rid itself of all biases arising from political leanings so as to maintain objectivity and justify the people's confidence in them.

According to him, the fact that “the post-election reportage especially by the predominant Lagos Press was deliberately skewed to reflect opinions at variance with the sovereign will expressed by Anambra people is a disservice to professionalism in journalism, and should not be encouraged during the Supplementary elections.”

Prince Amanambu who expressed shock at what he described as “reckless journalism,” stressed that the Rights Group has set up machinery to monitor the publications and reports on the election with a view to ascertaining those distorting facts to favour political interests. He urged the media to identify with the aspirations of the citizenry to avoid the incident of anarchy that may arise from misinformation.