N’Assembly Leadership Makes U-Turn, Disown Stiff Media Accreditation Guidelines

By Shola Abayomi.

The leadership of the National Assembly has disowned a new accreditation guidelines for journalists released by the management of the National Assembly.

Both the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have repudiated the stiff conditions initiated for the coverage of the 9th National Assembly by reporters. The new guidelines have attracted heavy public criticism.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on New Media, Olu Onemola on Tuesday, Saraki said the guidelines do not comfort with his belief and commitment to allowing for unhindered operation of the media.

INSIDER learnt that the Senate President has requested the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, to explain the circumstances that led to the emergence of the accreditation guidelines that have now generated public uproar.

Meanwhile, forced by the antagonism against the guidelines, the management of the National Assembly has suspended the implementation, although no official statement has been issued to that effect. The National Assembly Clerk has however reportedly directed the Director of Information, Agada Emmanuel, who signed the guidelines to immediately withdraw it.

In a statement by Saraki issued by Onemola, his Assistant on New Media, the Senate President said his antecedents as the Chairman of the 8th National Assembly had shown he believed that journalists should operate unhindered in order to promote transparency.

The statement read in part, “The alleged guidelines have not emanated from either the Senate President or the Speaker, and will be promptly investigated.

“The public should note that the 8th National Assembly has been committed to the freedom of the press as exemplified by its work to bring governance closer to the people through live streams and live tweets.

“This is because the leadership of the 8th National Assembly believes strongly in the freedom of the press and in carrying the Nigerian public along.”

Meanwhile, a team of National Assembly officials comprising Agada, the Director of Information, and other senior staff have been constituted to work out a new acceptable guidelines for the accreditation of reporters

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