Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, on Saturday urged Journalists in the country to maintain utmost morality and integrity in the discharge of their duties.
Mr Sani made the appeal in Kaduna at a lecture and award ceremony organized by the Kaduna Chapter of Correspondents Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.
He said journalists must stop writing stories just to tarnish the image of others or fabricate news stories for selfish gains.
He lamented that journalists are now being used to fight the battle of others, adding that such trend must not be allowed to continue.
“If you are in a position of power and you want to fight, use your name to fight not using the press,” he emphasized.
The Senator stressed the need for the media to reframe from acts that ran contrary to the ethics of journalism profession in order to maintain their honour and dignity.
“You should stand your ground to protect the ethics with dignity and respect.
“I also appreciate the journalists among you that stood your ground to protect the dignity of the profession and also those who suffer prosecution and marginalization over the years for your ability to defend ethics of the profession,” he said.
According to him, without the media, there would have been no democracy in Nigeria, because the media played a vital role in giving support to forces of freedom.
Mr Sani added: “Avoid being used by desperate politicians, you should always know that politicians come and go, there is, therefore, the need to maintain the dignity and integrity of the profession
“Many of you have been called to drop certain stories for financial benefit, it is so shameful.
” Even when some of you were arrested, some of you were scared to write the story saying that journalist usually finds it impossible to fight their battle.
“Today, journalism has been so bastardized, you need to come together and fight your own battle.
“You must be strong and stick for the truth and defend one another for the truth.”
On fake news, the senator said most fake news and hate speeches are perpetrated by politicians in the country.
To the electorates, Mr Sani said they must wise up and elect credible leaders, not political parties.
“If you elect someone because of the logo of his party after the election party offices will be empty and you can’t go and present your problems.
“Elect people that have sympathy and have the people at heart, people who stand for you in terms of your need.”
The Senator commended the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on regular payment of workers’ salaries and pensions as well as the completion of some abundant projects.
He, however, lampooned the government over its poor human rights records and condoning injustice in Nigeria.
Sani urged people of the state to live in peace, shun ethnicity and religious bigotry, and always demonstrate justice, fairness and equity to all.
On his part, Reuben Buhari, media aide to late Governor Patrick Yakowa, while presenting his paper on the role of journalists in ensuring a free fair election, urged journalists to report event accurately without being mischievous in their reportage.
Mr Buhari said, it is very critical in times of election and they use honest legal methods in obtaining information from people.
He added that it was very important to get the facts, ensure balance and be fair to sides of a story.
He said journalists should always maintain reliable independence in terms of election coverage and promote responsible journalism.
According to him, editors have a great responsibility to play in election coverage, saying traditional speeches from politicians should be avoided.
In his remark, the Chairman Correspondents Chapel, Midat Joseph appreciated the awardees for the various roles they played in adding value to the lives of Nigerians.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that those honoured by the chapel were, Senators Shehu Sani and Bala Ibn Na’Allah, Yakubu Barde, Minority Whip, House of Representatives, and Hauwa Shekarau, Country Director IPAS.