By Baba Shehu Oscu, Bauchi
The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) has urged journalists to shun fake news and work within the ethics of the profession.
The Bauchi State Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC), Ibrahim Abdullahi, stated this on Wednesday in a keynote address at a one-day workshop on the role of journalists during the 2019 general election.
The workshop was organised by the Bauchi State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in conjunction with INEC, held at the NUJ secretariat in Bauchi.
He said 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.
According to him, hate speech and fake news have 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.
He urged journalists to be conscious of what will be the consequence when they disseminate the wrong information.
Abdullahi said as the nation gets 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 commissioner pledged for more support from journalists in the state to enable them discharge their responsibilities more professionally during the elections saying that his doors will always be opened for inquiries.
In his remarks, the Deputy National President of NUJ, Alhaji Muktar Gidado said the training workshop was timely, noting that the national body of the union was on its oars in fighting quackery in the profession.
The NUJ Council chairman, Mallam Ibrahim Goje, reiterated that training and retraining was one of the cardinal principles of the union and called on journalists who are yet to acquire the necessary qualifications to do so in order to avoid being sanctioned by the Union.
He commended INEC for all the support to journalists in the state to discharge their official responsibilities at ease.