Politics

Akume speaks on Why NASS issued strict rules to journalists

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Akume speaks on Why NASS issued strict rules to journalists

Ahead of the NASS election, the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) has stated that the latest guideline for journalists covering the National Assembly (NASS) was issued to block Nigerians access to information.

Mr Sesugh Akume,the ANRP spokesman disclosed in a statement on Friday in Abuja, described the new requirements as “despotic, unreasonable, and an attempt to muffle and silence the press.’’

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According to Akume, the accreditation guideline for press corps under any establishment should not stifle press freedom, rather, enhance professionalism, fair and non-partisan reportage.

“The media is referred as the ‘fourth estate of the realm’ placing it alongside three arms of government because of its watchdog role, which is vital to a functioning democracy.

“The guidelines negate the constitutional principle of freedom of expression and run contrary to the African Charter on Fundamental Rights and the right of the people to know.

“The media is the eyes and ears of citizens in a democracy. It should be monitored not controlled.

“The freedom of press is guaranteed in section 22 of the 99 constitution, therefore, all attempts by whatever bodies to subvert the rights should not be allowed,” he said.

Akume, however, urged NASS management to dialogue with all stakeholders to arrive at standardised, reasonable and acceptable guideline for media houses and journalists covering its activities.

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