‘Journalists not locked out from committees’
The National Conference secretariat yesterday said journalists were not barred from covering committees’ proceedings as reported by the media.
The conference Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James, explained that only one committee locked out journalists from covering its proceedings, adding that even that one was in error.
James said the conference leadership at no time gave any order for the media to be restricted from covering any aspect of the conference.
Of the 20 standing committees, he said only the committee on devolution of power initially barred journalists from covering its deliberations.
“You cannot say that journalists were barred from covering activities of conference committees if only one out of the 20 committees misunderstood the fact that the sittings were supposed to be open to the media.
“I have just gone in to inform the one of the co-chairmen of the committee, that reporters should be allowed to cover every aspects of the committee’s work and he immediately agreed that they should come in,” he said.
He said it was hasty of some reporters to conclude that journalists were being barred from covering committee proceedings, when the matter only involved a single committee.
When journalists were allowed to access the committee, its co-chairman, Obong Victor Attah advised them to be fair and objective in reporting activities of the conference.