‘Jour­nal­ists not locked out from com­mit­tees’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Nu­rud­deen M. Ab­dal­lah

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.

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