FG Denies Frustrating Foreign Journalists From Covering Election 

The Federal Government has described as false, reports that foreign journalists were denied visas in their bid to cover the coming polls.

Reacting to a recent claims by the Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, that foreign journalists interested in covering the forthcoming general elections were being prevented from obtaining visas, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Folasade Yemi-Esan, who issued a press release regarding the allegation, stated that the report is a malicious ploy by some politicians to slander Nigerian government and erode its credibility ahead of the elections.






     

     

    Stating that the information ministry was fully committed to its mandate to create media access to report on Nigeria’s activities, she asserted that it had processed at least 300 applications from foreign journalists who needed to secure visas into Nigeria for the election coverage, while many more applications were being processed.

    Yemi-Esan, who alleged that those whose visa applications were rejected at the Nigerian embassies in their countries were likely to have disregarded the laid down procedures, appealed to journalists who intend to cover the elections in Nigeria to abide by the established procedure for securing the accreditation, which included presenting official correspondence from their organizations.

    The CPJ had on Tuesday reported that attempts were being made, in official quarters, to frustrate the efforts of international journalists who desired to cover the general elections scheduled for February.

    Reminding the Nigerian authorities that the legitimacy of government was directly related to free and unhampered international coverage of the electoral process, Peter Nkanga, CPJ’s West African representative called on the authorities to remove all bureaucratic bottlenecks to enable journalists get necessary accreditation.

     

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