Nigeria has one of the strict regulation on campaign finance in Africa but they are ‘paper tiger’, no compliance.
A renowned Social Commentator and Campaign Finance Expert, Mr Jide Ojo, stated this at a 2-day workshop organised by the International Press Centre, Nigeria, (IPC), for Journalists on use of FOI Act and Investigative Reporting; adding that while State administrative resources is a genuine source of generating funds/ resources for campaign finance, many Political Parties abuse this and use it in their own interests.
The Campaign Finance Expert who spoke on ‘Understanding and Reporting Campaign Finance and Political Expenditures’, noted that vote trading and electoral violence are the two main factors affecting the electoral process in Nigeria.
In her own presentation on ‘Using Investigative Reporting Techniques to Monitor Compliance with Campaign Finance and Political Expenditure Regulations, a Freelance Investigative Journalist, Ms. Tobore Ovuorie, said investigative journalism is not daily reporting, leak journalism, single source reporting, misuse of information or paparazzi journalism; rather, clarifies that it is watchdog journalism, critical and in-depth journalism, exposing how laws and regulations are violated, and holding the powerful accountable.
Ms. Ovuorie advised participants to humanise their stories; noting that lots of award winning stories are human angle stories.
In his welcome address and presentation at the first day of the workshop, the Executive Director of IPC, and the organiser of the workshop, Mr Lanre Arogundade, said Participation, Rule of Law, Accountability, Transparency, Responsiveness are some of the elements of good governance.
He explained that Participation is one of the key elements because in a democracy, people should be able to voice their opinions themselves or through legitimate immediate organisations or representatives.
Mr Arogundade said Journalists have the challenge of winning back public trust to hold Government accountable to the people, but emphasised the need to realise that their best defense lies in sticking to good journalism.