Imo: Journalists threaten to boycott assembly sittings

Posted by News Express | 8 December 2019 | 387 times

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 The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Imo State has threatened to boycott activities of the House of Assembly following a restriction placed on entry into the complex by authorities of the house.

The authorities of the house had made it mandatory that any journalist covering it must be accredited. This has denied correspondents of major newspapers in the country access to the assembly. Some were turned back by security men at the gate, thus making it impossible for them to work.

In a letter to the Speaker, Chiji Collins, signed by Chairman, Steve Uzoechi and Secretary, Damian Duruiheoma, the correspondents said,  “We, the members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, are constrained  to draw the attention of the Rt. Honourable Speaker to an ongoing process of restriction on journalists, especially correspondents of national newspapers, radio and television networks from covering the activities of the Imo State House of Assembly.

“From our findings, the action was premised on a mandatory accreditation exercise for journalists for which our members were hardly notified.

“The Correspondents’ Chapel, as you may already know Mr. Speaker, is the umbrella body of all correspondents/reporters of all the national newspapers, magazines, national radio and television networks.

“Mr. Speaker, since this untoward action, our members who come to the Assembly Complex with their valid identity cards have severally been embarrassed and harassed by the security personnel attached to the House of Assembly, on the instruction of the leadership of the Assembly.

“We view this action as a dangerous precedent and if steps are not taken to redress it, we are afraid the legislature under you might be viewed as undermining free press and of course, the very norms and essence of constitutional democracy which it pledged to uphold.

“This restrictive policy, if sustained, would be an unfortunate reminder of the dark days of Nigeria’s repressive juntas.

“Therefore, we request that, like it is done at the National Assembly and other state houses of assembly, correspondents in Imo State be given unrestricted access to cover the activities of the Imo State House of Assembly because we are major stakeholders in the Imo project.”  


(Daily Trust)

Source: News Express

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