Journalists have been urged to shun fake news and work within the rules of the profession to ensure successful conduct of the 2019 general elections.
The call was made by the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, on Wednesday while giving a keynote address at a workshop on the role of Journalists during the 2019 general election, organised by the Bauchi State Council of NUJ in collaboration with INEC, held at the NUJ Secretariat in Bauchi.
He said that hate speech and fake news are becoming very divisive forces in the society, adding that journalists should do all the necessary checks in order not to incite violence during elections.
The REC states that “This has since become a threat in our democratic system, as such we should always discourage the spread of all news that will distract our peace and unity in the country. You should be conscious of what will be the consequence when you disseminate the wrong information”
“As we are getting closer to the 2019 general election, journalists have to adhere by the code of conduct and the ethics of the profession. Most politicians during elections are into fake news and hate speech, if you don’t assist them, they will go nowhere”, he further said.
The REC then pledged more support to work journalists in the state to enable them to discharge their responsibilities more professionally during the election, saying that his doors will always be opened for inquiries.
In his remarks, the Deputy National President of NUJ, Muktar Gidado said that the training workshop for journalists on the coverage of the general election was timely, noting that the national body of the union was on its oars in fighting quackery in the journalism profession.
Earlier in his welcome address, the NUJ State Chairman, Mallam Ibrahim Goje, said that training and retraining was one of the cardinal principles of the NUJ, calling on journalists who are yet to acquire the necessary qualifications to do so in order avoid being sanctioned by the Union.