On 20th of March, 2017 Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB quoted Mary Wilson saying, “What makes you inhumane is inability to reason” and he continued, “Here people don’t reason”.

It has become obvious that Nigeria's journalists don’t reason. Nothing corrupts a society more than bad journalism: it terrorizes the citizen, it promotes hatred and propaganda, corrupts the public domain,  endangers people,and leaves a vacuum in a society. Fake news not only polarizes different groups within a nation but also affects international relations.

According to CODE OF ETHICS FOR NIGERIAN JOURNALIST, Journalism entails a high degree of public trust. To earn and maintain this trust, it is morally imperative for every journalist and every news medium to observe the highest professional and ethical standard. In the exercise of these duties, a journalist should always have a healthy regard for public interest. Truth is the cornerstone of journalism and every journalist should strive diligently to ascertain the truth of every event. Conscious of the responsibilities and duties of journalists as purveyors of information, we, Nigerian journalists, give to ourselves this Code of Ethics. It is the duty of every journalist to observe its provisions. 

But all this talk is to confuse the world and international bodies on the propaganda they broadcast in Nigeria. Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) doesn’t have ethics; they don’t know what ethics is, and they don’t know what investigative journalism is. It is in Nigerian newspapers, radio, or television that you will see news that a man killed himself and ran away. It is a pity!

Just some days back the leader of IPOB worldwide, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, alerted the whole world of the fake Newspaper in Nigeria called Punch Newspaper. Some people thought it was an attack on Punch Newspaper, and that it is only the Punch Newspaper that propagate and broadcast fake news in Nigeria. To be frank, no Nigerian news outfit - radio, television and newspapers - knows what journalism entails.

On this ugly incident that happened on 6th August, 2017 at Ozubulu Anambra State to wit: the Ozubulu Massacre, no Nigerian news house did any investigation before coming out to tell the world lies. It is unimaginable that Daily Sun Newspaper reported that 11 people were killed,  18 people injured while the Sunrise Newspaper reported that over 100 faithfuls were killed. The New Telegraph Newspaper reported that 19 people were killed. The  Guardian Newspaper reported that 47 people were killed. The Vanguard Newspaper reported that 35 people were killed and scores injured. The Nation Newspaper, on the other hand, reported that 11 people killed, to mention but a few. We will not talk of conflicting reports by radio and television houses. 

In the above reports from different newspapers, which one is correct and which one is wrong? When the audience is trained to doubt everything they meet in the news, it may lead to devaluation and destabilization of society’s system of information and a vacuum might be created. This poses a threat not only to the media but also challenges the entire structure of society. Bad or biased journalism is the misrepresentation of facts and pieces of factual news can be distorted when they are shared. It is only in Nigeria that I see a journalist reporting news before carrying out investigation. Terrible!

Do Nigerian journalists know that at all times they should uphold and defend the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed?

Do Nigerian journalist know that at all times they should strive to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair, and that journalists should do their utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies, and differentiate between fact and opinion?

Journalists should obtain material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means. The most disturbing thing about this ugly incident is that they have what they call NIGERIAN PRESS COUNCIL ACT. which is not adhered to; instead, they take bribe and allow the Newspaper Houses, Radio Houses and Television Companies feed the public with lies. It is a pity!

This is to alert the whole world that Nigeria does not have journalist, rather they have gangs of terrorists that terrorize the public with lies in other to extort money from them.

 - Obulose Chidiebere N.
    City Writers Press
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