In this interview, Kayode Idowu describes his role as Chief Press Secretary for Attahiru Jega, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He explains the transparency and accountability that Jega has brought to INEC through changes such as maintaining open, honest communication with the media and taking responsibility for problems as they arise. For instance, Idowu recounts the delay in the April 2ndelections, explaining that INEC chose to postpone elections rather than use non-official result sheets that were not secure. He also comments on how the rise of social media has changed media relations, making both INEC and the conventional media more accountable. Idowu discusses his experiences handling the public relations surrounding election violence, distinguishing the security aspects from the electoral aspects of the issue. In response to election violence, INEC initiated cooperative efforts with security agencies; Idowu describes this process as well as INEC’s communication and cooperation with other groups, including Parties, civil society, and the State Electoral Committees. Throughout the interview, Idowu explains how his background in print media helps him understand and relate to the media with whom he works.
At the time of this interview Kayode Idowu was serving as the Chief Press Secretary to Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the commission. Jega recruited Idowu in July of 2010 from his post as deputy editor of The Nation. Idowu previously served as editor of the SaturdayPunch, deputy editor of the SaturdayThis Day, and chief sub editor ofThe Guardian. He is also a former Saturday editor of the now-defunct The Comet.