As political parties officially commenced campaigns yesterday (Sunday) across the country, the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on politicians, political parties and their candidates to avoid comments that are capable of provoking crisis in Rivers State.
The NUJ, in a statement signed by the state secretary, Ike Wigodo, urged all the 54 political parties in Rivers State to priotise the unity and development of the state.
According to the statement, “the flag-off of political campaigns across the country which is a prelude to general elections in February 2019 is an opportunity for political parties and their candidates to roll out their blueprints and sell themselves to the electorate. They should not, therefore, abuse it.
“We expect them to be constructive and maintain high level of decorum in their campaign. They should stick to the rule of the game and avoid hate speech, political mudslinging and other comments and actions that can cause disaffection within the polity.”
The Union also advised its members to be professional in their reports and always double-check their facts before publication.
Meanwhile, the NUJ has cautioned the public, especially politicians, against patronising the services of quacks who masquerade as journalists in the State.
The Union reminded various political parties and candidates that the ban on illegal Press conference/briefing outside the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre is in place and therefore, advised the public to guide against unauthorised Press briefings.
Ike Wigodo, Secretary