The Context and the Imperative for Ethical Coverage of Local Government Elections in Nigeria

Edith U. Ohaja


Although local governments (LGs) form the lowest tier of governments in Nigeria, they are the tier closest to the people that should bring development to the hinterlands where the majority of her citizens live. This study examined, through library research, the functions and problems of LG councils in Nigeria plus the way in which LG elections are held with a view to establishing the need for ethical coverage of such elections. The study discovered that LG councils are saddled with heavy responsibilities by the 1999 constitution. They also face many difficulties, foremost among which is persistent underdevelopment occasioned by the strangling grip of state governors on LG finances and massive corruption among top LG officials. The study also found that LG elections are conducted in an irregular, phony and predictable manner with the ruling party usually sweeping the polls. It, therefore, recommended strict adherence to such ethical principles as editorial independence, accuracy and fairness, refusal of gratification and abhorrence of violence by reporters in the coverage of LG elections. It maintained that by so doing, journalists will help the public realise how important these elections at the grassroots are and with their combined vigilance, they will ensure that the current deplorable order in LG elections and the councils is dismantled.

Keywords: Ethics, Election, Local Government, Social Responsibility, Ethical Prescriptions

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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