11th July, 2011
The Ogun State House of Assembly has explained the rationale behind the barring of private media practitioners from covering the activities of the Assembly, declaring it had not taken a decision yet on the recommendation.
The House ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the explosive device found during the inauguration of the 7th Asswembly on 6 June had in its recommendation barred some journalists from covering the activities of the House.
The development led to protest by the State Correspondents chapel and the parent body, the Ogun state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
In a pre4ss statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Speaker on Media Affairs, Waheed Akinola, a copy which was made available to newsmen in Abeokuta this evening, the Assembly explained that the there was no resolution yet on the recommendations made by the committee.
The release stated that the House only adopted the report of its ad-hoc committee and â€œas normal in parliamentary practice all over the world, the report would still be subjected to debate, clause by clause before the adoption of satisfactory clauses in the report.â€
The House, the release added, â€œrecognises the commendable roles played by journalists in ensuring that Nigerians enjoy democracy and its attendant benefits and would always see journalists as partners in progress in the act of nation building.â€
It affirmed that the Assembly could not bar journalists from covering the House proceedings â€œbecause they are the vehicle to get across to their various constituents which voted the legislators into office. Members would continue to work closely with the media at all times as part of measures to deepen the nationâ€™s democracy and move the state forward.â€
The House reiterated that it holds â€œthe media in very high esteem and would not do anything to injure the cordial relationship between the two very relevant stakeholders.â€
The Speaker’s aide told our correspondent that the leadership of the House holds the journalists in high esteem and will soon meet with them.
”Mr Speaker respects gentlemen of the press and will never do things that may cause any rift between the House and the press. So he will be meeting with you people soonest,’ he said.”
By Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta