A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Kaduna - Malam Garba Mohammad, the Kaduna State Chairman of Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ, on Thursday said media organisations must avoid promoting hate speeches to avert instability ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Mohammad said this in Kaduna at a workshop on hate speeches, organised by African Media Development Foundation.
According to him, media organisations must be objective at all times in order not to create the ground for civil unrest and deaths.
He said hate speeches had always resulted in deaths and destructions across the world, and warned that the Nigerian media must avoid that path at all cost.
The correspondents chapel chairman urged journalists in the country not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to destroy the nation.
He said that the rules of journalism were very clear, as such journalists must shun all tendencies that would make them bias and unprofessional in their conduct.
Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Bonet, the Executive Director, Aid Fonudation, said apart from character asassination, hate speeches had led to physical attacks and extermination as was the case in Rwanda.
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He urged the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission and other media regulatory bodies in the country to impose heavy sanctions on any media organisation found promoting hate speeches.
Participants at the event resolved that media managers must abide by the ethics of the profession at all times.
They also cautioned religious leaders against preaching falsehood to satisfy selfish ends, adding that pastors and imams must ensure balance and accuracy of information before propagating it to their followers.
The participants attributed the large level of distrust among Nigerians to the collapse of societal values, and called for national value re-orientation to enhance mutual respect, trust and unity of purpose among Nigerians.
The resolution advised the Foundation to collaborate with civil society organisations to develop legal and institutional frameworks to regulate hate speeches in the country including on social media platforms.