NUJ Seeks Legislation from National Assembly to Regulate Journalism Practice

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

Worried by the increase number of newspapers in the circulation, the National body of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is seeking legislation to enable it take charge of regulating the practice of Journalism profession in the country.

The National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Waheed Odusile dropped the hint in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital at a reception organised by the Akwa State Chapter of NUJ on Friday to honour the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo.

Odusile who said it was worrisome hence the National body NUJ was working at ensuring that the National Assembly pass a legislation that would enable it regulate the practice.
He frowned that in many states of the federation especially in Akwa Ibom State the number of local tabloids and their contents were food for thought for the stakeholders in the profession.
Accordingly, he called on the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of NUJ, Patrick Albert, to sanitise the activities of over 100 local newspapers in the state in order to protect the image of the Union and the profession.

“As a National President of NUJ, I’m not happy with the activities of the local newspapers in Akwa Ibom state. We must promote ethical journalism. The local newspapers in Akwa Ibom state are something else. They are the ones bringing us down before the society.
“We are trying to get a legislation enacted by the National Assembly to empower NUJ regulate the practice of journalism. The State Chairman of NUJ in Akwa Ibom must do something about it. I will not hesitate to bring out the full weight of the law on such people. We have to prove a point to them.”
He also stressed the need for journalists to upgrade themselves, saying there would be training and re-training for journalists.

Odusile acknowledged the corporation of the Akwa Ibom State government with the state chapter of the union, saying such corporation should also be extended to NUJ at the national level.
The National President called on members of NUJ in the state to maintain peace, adding whatever the differences the people should come together to resolve it.
Also, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, commended the state NUJ for the honour. He lamented the activities of some of the local newspapers for allegedly publishing falsehood against the state and activities of the government.

He noted that of all states of the federation, Akwa Ibom is the only one with the highest number of publications which is now in excess of 100 newspapers, magazines and periodicals, some unfortunately without fixed addresses and other vital information as required by the law.