UNBELIEVABLE: National Conference Leadership To Expel Accredited Journalists

UNBELIEVABLE: National Conference Leadership To Expel Accredited Journalists

Accredited journalists at the ongoing National Conference have been warned that any of them whose reports are considered offensive and unfair by the leadership of the National Conference will be kicked out of the Conference.

 *A cross section of members of the National Conference

This is based on Order 9 (7) of the National Conference Procedure Rules 2014, which was distributed to delegates on Thursday.

The controversial Rule reads, “The Conference may grant approval to the representative of any media to attend the sitting of the Conference provided that if the media publishes a report of the proceedings which the Conference considers unfair, offensive and not a true reflection of what transpired, such permission may be revoked.”

According to analysts, the provision may be a subtle attempt to gag the press and prevent Nigerians from knowing what happens inside the plenary and committee seasons of the Conference.

Since the document has not properly defined what constitutes an unfair and offensive report, there is a possibility that journalists may be barred from the Conference on frivolous grounds.

The rule also violates the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which empowers the media to hold government accountable to the people.

Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states, “The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this Chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.

Again, Section 39(1) of the same Constitution states, “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression; including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

The Secretary General of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Usman Leman, who spoke with newsmen in an interview, said the rule is undemocratic and a clear violation of the provisions of the Constitution that has granted the media the right to hold government accountable to the people.

Source: Legit.ng

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