Edo Polls: Journalists face accreditation challenge

Less than 24 hours to Wednesday’s gubernatorial election in Edo, many journalists who had arrived the state for coverage of the exercise were yet to be accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many of the journalists besieged the commission’s headquarters in the state, at Ikpoba Hill, as early as 7 a.m., on Tuesday and had remained unattended to by the officials.

After several hours of waiting and struggling to see the possibility of going through with the accreditation, most of them were referred to the state’s council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for identification before they would be accredited.

Mrs Prisillia Sule, the commission’s Assistant Director of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, explained that it was necessary for the NUJ to identify the journalists to ensure that the right persons were accredited.

According to Sule, “only the state council of the NUJ can identify the authentic journalists before we can accredit them.

She, however, expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct the election, adding that all the sensitive materials for the poll had arrived at the 18 local government areas of the state.

The Chairman of NUJ in the state, Mr Roland Osakue, confirmed the development and assured that all eligible journalists would be accredited.

He said that already, no fewer than 400 newsmen in the state for the election had been accredited to cover the exercise, explaining that the journalists went through the union for the process.