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I did not approve new set of guidelines on media accreditation, says Saraki

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SENATE President, Bukola Saraki, says he is not aware of the new set of guidelines on media accreditation which was issued by the National Assembly on Monday.

Saraki said the document did not emanate from his office or from the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and that it would be investigated.

“The attention of the President of the Senate, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has just been drawn to a story that is circulating on social media about the National Assembly issuing new guidelines to journalists. These alleged guidelines have not emanated from either the Senate President or the Speaker, and will be promptly investigated,” read a statement issued on Tuesday by Olu Onemola, Saraki’s Special Assistant on new media.

“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. Hence, the Senate President and all his colleagues will continue to work to ensure that these freedoms remain unhindered.”

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) had criticised the new NASS guidelines, accusing the eighth National Assembly of attempting to put the press in chains.

“The guild is disappointed that the same 8th National Assembly which benefited immensely from free press in its moments of trial has turned round to put the same press in shackles and chains,” the NGE said via a statement on Tuesday.

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“We reject this crude abrasion of our constitutional rights to freely disseminate information. It cannot stand,” the statement read in part.”

Also, the National President of the NUJ, Christopher Isiguzo, described the new NASS guidelines as “satanic, draconian, anti-press freedom, and anti-democratic” and urged the authorities of the National Assembly to withdraw it within 24 hours.

 

 

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