Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Piqued by the activities of quacks in the journalism profession, the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin yesterday inaugurated a seven-man committee to stem down the menace in the state.
The committee, led by a one-time Chairman of the state council of the union, Stephen Oni, has representatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Service and front line media professionals.
Inaugurating the committee as part of activities commemorating the 2020 Press Week of the union, the Chairman of the state NUJ, Umar Abdulwahab, bemoaned the increasing wave of questionable characters parading themselves as journalists and the attendant harm inflicted on the society.
He said the union could not sit idly and allow impersonators to have a field day in their nefarious activities and in turn drag the image of the union in disrepute.
Abdulwahab, who stated that the constitution of the anti-quackery was consequent upon the directive from the NUJ National Secretariat, said the essence was to checkmate the activities of quacks in the media profession with a view to restoring sanity and discipline.
According to him, the committee has been empowered in line with the constitution of the union to apprehend fake journalists and bring them to book.
He added that the committee, apart from waging war against unethical practices among media professionals, has also been mandated to checkmate impersonation in the media profession.
Abdulwahab urged the team to ensure that members of the union always disseminate true report to the public and continue to discharge their duties objectively without fear or favour.
Also speaking, the state Commandant of NSCDC, who was represented by a Deputy Commandant of the Corps, Emmanuel Okwuosa, said the inauguration of the committee was timely in view of the harmful effect of fake news on the society.
Okwuosa added that the curtailment of unsavoury activities of the fake news peddlers was imperative so as to stave off a replica of genocide experienced in Rwanda, which he attributed to fake news and unguarded utterances.
He pledged the support of the command to the committee in the area of enforcement.
Also, the Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Ajayi Okasanmi, a Superintendent of Police, assured them that the force would partner the NUJ to rid the state of fakers.