By Taiye Agbaje
President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki says he is unaware of alleged new guidelines by National Assembly’s Director of Information, Emmanuel Agada, for accreditation of journalists covering the activities of the legislative arm.
Saraki, who stated this on Tuesday through his aide, Olu Onemola, Special Assistant on New Media, said the controversial guidelines would ”promptly be investigated.”
The National Assembly management had in two separate letters released 20 stringent conditions for journalists and media houses’ accreditation.
In a tweet, Onemola said the senate president ”remains committed to the freedom of the press.”
He said Saraki’s antecedents as the chairman of the eight National Assembly showed that he has always believed in the right of journalists to operate unhindered in order to promote transparency.
The tweet reads: “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.
“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.”