The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has dissociated himself and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, from the proposed guidelines for the accreditation of journalists for the coverage of the National Assembly.
The new guidelines are due to take effect from July 11, 2019 when the 9th National Assembly will be inaugurated.
Saraki, who spoke in a statement by his Special Assistant on New Media, Olu Onemola, said he remains committed to the freedom of the press.
Responding in a series of tweets about the alleged new guidelines for journalists in the National Assembly, Onemola stated that Saraki’s antecedents as the Chairman of the 8th National Assembly showed that he has always believed in the right of journalists to operate unhindered in order to promote transparency.
The New Media aide also emphasized that the purported issuance of the controversial guidelines would be promptly investigated.
He tweeted: “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.”