By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has disowned those who on Monday came up with what could be described as satanic and draconian new guidelines to shut out Media Organisations covering the National Assembly.
According to Saraki, he is committed to Freedom of the Press in all its ramifications, just as he assured that the matter would be promptly investigated.
Recall that the Management on Monday through the Director, Information, Agada Emmanuel came up with a memo asking all Journalists covering the National Assembly that they must get fresh letters of recertification from their media organisations in line with the requirement of the new guidelines to facilitate the earliest reaccreditation process before the commencement of the 9th Assembly.
In a statement Tuesday, the Special Assistant, New Media to Saraki, Olu Onemola said that his principal 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 show that he has always believed in the right of journalists to operate unhindered in order to promote transparency.
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.”