The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Bauchi State has urged journalists to shun fake news and work within the rules of their profession.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, stated this 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 NUJ, in collaboration with INEC, held at the NUJ Secretariat in Bauchi.
He said that hate speech and fake news were becoming very divisive forces in the society, adding that journalists should do all the necessary checks in order not to incite violence during elections.
“This has since become a threat to 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 said.
The INEC boss pledged more working tie with journalists in the state to enable them discharge their responsibilities more professionally during the election, saying that his doors will always be opened for inquiries.
In his remarks, Deputy National President of NUJ, Muktar Gidado, said 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 journalism profession.