The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), International Media Society (IMS) Nigeria Union Journalist (NUJ) and the Nigeria Police Force have made commitment to ensure mutual respect and understanding between the police and the media during and after the 2019 Nigeria elections.
The commitment was part of resolutions adopted at the end of a three-day international workshop on police-media relations, training of journalists and cross-country experience-sharing among Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria Police Force organised ahead of the election in Abuja on 6th-8th February, 2019.
The workshop brought together senior journalists and editors in Nigeria, senior police officers and commissioners of the police service in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria as well as resource persons from Canada. At the end of the workshop, participants unanimously adopted and issued this 12-point resolution:
- There is the need for better understanding and mutual respect between the police and the media during the electoral period.
- There is the need for sensitization of the public on the use of information on social media as well as to outline the adverse effects of its wrong usage.
- To enhance mutual understanding, there is the need for proper sensitization of both parties on assigned duties and responsibilities as well as for police to share standard operating procedures with media.
- The police should ensure regular press interface, briefings, press releases and press conferences. In this way, media should have full access to PPROs and the synergy should continue after elections.
- Ensure outcomes and information of meetings of police, INEC and civil society organizations is shared with the media.
- Confidence-building sessions between police and media should take place before, during and after elections.
- Police operational briefings should include information regarding the role of the media and their relationship with police during elections.
- Police operation order should include information regarding the role of the media during elections.
- The role and functions of the media in society should be included in police training curriculum.
- There is the need to check overzealousness and over-bearing attitudes on both sides.
- There is the need to incorporate security of journalists in the security architecture during elections.
- There is the need for both formal and informal police-media interface at all levels on a regular basis.