THE Nigerian FactCheckers’ Coalition (NFC) has said it will join the Presidential Town Hall debates organised by Arise TV News.
A statement released on Saturday, November 12 said the Coalition will be participating in the Arise Town Hall meeting scheduled for Sunday, November 13.
The Coalition said the development was part of its civic responsibility to combat disinformation in Nigeria.
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The November 13 edition of the town hall series will feature the presidential candidates of Africa Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore; Action Democratic Party (ADP), Yabagi Sani; All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), Peter Umeadi and Social Democratic Party (SDP), Adewole Adebayo.
The NFC will conduct a live fact-checking of claims and counterclaims that will be made by candidates during the town hall meeting.
The Coalition comprises leading Nigerian newsrooms and think-tank groups such as Africa Check, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), and Daily Trust.
Other members include Digital Africa Research Lab, Dubawa, FactCheckhub, FactsMatterNG, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Premium Times, The Cable, and The Insight.
The Managing Editor of ICIR, Ajibola Amzat, described town hall meetings as an important opportunity for candidates to share their thoughts with Nigerians.
“But we should not take it for granted that the information the politicians will provide is gospel. That is why the role of the Nigeria Factcheckers’ Coalition is crucial in the town hall meeting series,” Amzat said.
Dubawa Editor, Kemi Busari, also expressed satisfaction with the contribution of the Nigerian Fact-checkers’ Coalition so far.
According to him, the Coalition is set to engage important facts on the election and continuously help in curbing the spread of falsehood and avail citizens with accurate information to make political decisions.
FactCheckhub Editor, Opeyemi Kehinde, stressed the objective of the Coalition to provide the electorate with accurate information.
He said, “As a member of the Coalition, we believe the success of Nigeria’s 2023 election holds the ace to advancing good governance, peace and security of the West African sub-region, thus our resolve to ensure that the Nigerian electorate have access to factual information that could enable them make informed decision during the election and beyond.”
The fist edition of the presidential town hall series was held last Sunday, November 7, 2022.
It featured the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, who was represented by his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Abdulateef Kolawole Abiola, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso and Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP).
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu was absent with no representative.