Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has canvassed stiffer penalty against declaration of fake results in the media.
Coming ahead of 2019 general election, he said there was the need to curtail the ugly trend where self-serving politicians declare fake results in the media.
Jega said the issue was capable of leading to bloodshed, as witnessed in the recent Ekiti governorship poll, which was won by Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
The former INEC chairman spoke during a two-day international conference as part of a team of panelists.
The theme of the conference was: Democracy and disinformation: “How fake news threaten our freedom and democracy in Nigeria.”
It was organised in Abuja by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
Jega called for the enactment of laws, as well as adherence to subsisting legislations to achieve the goal, noting that the ugly trend couldn’t be tackled through mere civic education of critical stakeholders.
INEC’s National Chairman, Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud acknowledged the challenges in implementing subsisting laws to curtail misdeeds in the polity.
He promised to liaise with stakeholders to strengthen existing legislation in the electoral process to tackle problems associated with hate speech and fake news.
Represented by a national commissioner, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeano, he promised that INEC would improve on its performance in the Ekiti and Anambra polls.
This, he, said was necessary through an early declaration of results to erase suspicion and doubts amongst the citizenry in the 2019 poll.
Yakubu lamented the penchant by politicians to reject results that are unfavourable to them.
He promised to ensure that results on Form E60E declared at polling units are duly signed, pasted, and snapped by polling officials and political party agents in the upcoming polls.
Meanwhile, Borno Youths and Students Association Forum (BOYSAF) have canvassed a reduction in fees for obtaining presidential nomination form.
National President of Students Association of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education (SPACE), Muhammadu Hassan, who made the call yesterday at a news conference in Maiduguri, said the N10 million, and N12 million set by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is too high for youths to meet.