There is so much fake news in Nigeria and the situation has been made worse by the countdown to 2019 general elections.

Nigeria has stepped into a period that has treated citizens with a drama of defections in the last two weeks.

While these fake news channels are multiplying daily on social networks, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) are being looked upon to salvage the situation.

But the president of the union, country Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said NUJ lacked the enabling legislation to prosecute fake journalists.

Odusile highlighted this setback to efforts to bring an end to fake news by the Nigerian government in Lokoja on Thursday while speaking at the Kogi NUJ 2018 Press Week with the theme; “The Media and News Reporting in an Election Year”.

He is aware of the several unethical practices perpetrated by some people masquerading as journalists on social media in the name of journalism.

“Posting on social media does not make you a journalist. As professional journalists, we must process information before releasing it to the public for consumption,” he said.

Mr Odusile then emphasised that the NUJ needs to be empowered by the law to pursue the course of ending fake news.

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“On our part as leadership, we have approached the National Assembly for a law to be enacted on that.

“The National Press Council Act that is being amended will also take care of many of these anomalies,” Odusile said.

He urged the council to ensure that each chapel had a copy of the revised Code of Ethics for Journalism in Election Coverage, stressing that every member should read the document.

“The bottom line is that as journalists, we must strictly adhere to the ethics of our profession.”

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The President of the NUJ commended the state chairman of the NUJ for carefully choosing the topic as the election year in which journalists have a big role to play, was fast approaching.

In his remarks, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi, who was represented by the state House of Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Matthew Kolawole, urged journalists to ensure proper investigation in whatever they report.

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