The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday alerted the general public particularly public office holders over the activities of fake journalists and quacks who operate as syndicates and specialize in blackmailing top political officers and other government with a view to extorting huge sums of money from them as ‘settlement’.
The Chairman of FCT Chapter of NUJ, Comrade Chuks Ehirim raised alarm on the activities of the acts of sending text messages to intimidate their targets and personal aides claiming that they have unravelled scams involving their targets with a view to extorting huge sums of money.
The said magazine went to the unprofessional extent of soliciting for negative articles from unsuspecting member s of the public in order to complete the so-called book.
He said the most recent of these shameful activities of turn-coats in the journalism profession is that of a Kaduna based junk magazine which claimed to have written a book running into hundreds of pages chronicling alleged rot within the FCT Administration.
The NUJ leader stressed that in a glaring unprofessional manner, the said magazine went to the extent of publishing advertisement soliciting for negative articles from the general public through telephone, email and Facebook to rubbish the image of the FCTA and the Minister to them account also published along.
Ehirim condemned the tactics of the magazine as a strange and shady adding that it smacks of voodoo journalism.
The NUJ Chairman stated that while journalists have the constitutional right to hold public officers accountable to the people, such rights should be exercised with decorum within the confines of the law.
According to him, it is wrong to hide under the canopy of the media profession to perpetrate unprofessional and lawless acts. He therefore warned that the NUJ would not fold its arms while quacks drag the noble name of the profession in the mud declaring that “Our duty as journalists is not to rubbish the noble tenets of the profession”.
He said that the Council was strategizing with the NPC to curtail the menace of quackery in the profession. He said that the FCT Minister petitioned the Council on the attempt by the Kaduna-based publication to extort money from him.
He added that the NUJ Council is in touch with the Nigerian Press Council, Police and the SSS to sanitize the profession.
The NUJ Chapter Chairman stressed further: “We totally condemn this form of unprofessional journalism especially as we are aware that those behind the false and malicious publications were already seeking ‘settlement‘ of the matter through payment of a huge sum of money and allocation of land to them. We are also aware that the FCT officials who had played along with these undesirable elements have declined to pay such unearned money to them. We commend the FCTA for their tenacity and doggedness towards enthroning objective journalism in our land. The NUJ Abuja remains proud of the Hon. Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, a worthy Ambassador of the journalism profession.
“We wish to warn the publishers of the Kaduna based magazine involved in this ignoble act to retrace their step or else be exposed. We are already in possession of strong evidence against them and will not hesitate to go further and expose them if they do not stop their corrupt acts. A word is enough for the wise”.