Journalists have been urged to shun fake news and work within the rules of the profession to ensure a successful conduct of the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi State.
The call was made by the INEC National Commissioner of Information and Voters Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye, on Wednesday while giving a keynote address at a workshop for journalists on the 2019 Kogi Governorship Election: Legal and Procedural Issues held in Lokoja.
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 Commissioner stated 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 November 16 governorship election in
Kogi State, 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.
Okoye then pledged more support to 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, the Chairman Kogi State Council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Adeiza Momoh-Jimoh said that the training workshop for journalists on the coverage of the general election was timely, noting that the state body of the union was on its oars in fighting quackery in the journalism profession.
He 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 to avoid being sanctioned by the Union.