The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Chris Finebone has expressed reservation on the over-reliance on the BVAS machines by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible election in 2023 pointing out that it is still a major source of concern for parties, voters and stakeholders.
Finebone made the remark at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Correspondents’ Week of the Federated Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Declaring the event open, as the Special Guest of Honour and the State Commissioner for Information, Hon Chris Finebone lauded the Chapel for a well-thought out programme, describing it as apt. According to him, the turnout of the events across the country calls for sober reflection. He therefore tasked the Correspondents’ Chapel to tailor its programme towards that mood.
He said the country is majorly under siege, and sympathized with journalists, who he said are more in the eye of the storm. He said only journalists who know their onus will weather through the storm, promising that the media friendly governor of Rivers State, Barr Nyesom Wike will continue to support the media in Rivers State.
Earlier on in his opening address the Chairman of the Correspondents ‘Chapel, Amaechi Okonkwo had welcomed the dignitaries and media colleagues that graced the occasion, asking them to relax and enjoy the presentations. The Chapel Chairman informed the audience that the whole essence of the week is to get the commitment of the major players, like INEC, political parties, Civil Society and the media in the forthcoming general elections for peaceful and credible polls. He reminded the political parties that it does not make sense to attempt to kill or main the people to win election, as such need to play by the rules.
Amaechi said “They should not in the pursuit of their own interests disrupt our own lives by making the environment unconducive for us to continue with our own endeavors. We need to tell them that they don’t need to kill us before they get our votes to rule us”.
He emphasized that their target for choosing the theme is to bring in political parties to make commitment to the journalist and the people in the state, that election will be peaceful.
Our correspondent reports that the Chairman of the event, a veteran journalist Jossy Nwokocha while speaking on the theme “2023 Correspondents’ week : Media Vigilance Ahead Of Peaceful 2023 Election in Rivers State, urged journalists to avoid disseminating the fake news without proper verification, as this will heat the polity of the state.