The Nigerian Guild of Editors NGE has rejected the new guidelines for the accreditation of media organizations, journalists/ correspondents covering the National Assembly, describing it as primitive, undemocratic and blatantly anti-press and anti-people.
One of the suspects with journalists in Port Harcourt the guidelines issued by authorities of the National Assembly NASS is due to become effective from June 11 2019 it demands among other draconian provisions that a media organization wishing to be accredited for coverage of NASS activities should submit a copy of its income tax return for the last two years.
Other requirements include “presentation of evidence of certificate of incorporation of the media organization, evidence of membership of professional bodies for the journalists, maintenance of a functional Bureau in Abuja.
The Staff strength not less than 5 Editorial staff and daily circulation of 40,000 copies for the print media with evidence to support the claimed circulation figure.
The Guild finds this vexatious, disrespectful and Draconian, it is a scurrilous attempt to gag the press in a democracy and it cannot stand.
These guidelines run contrary to the grains of reason, democratic ideals and they are a clear affront on the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution which empowers journalists to freely practice their profession without any gag, muzzling and restriction.
The NASS guidelines negate the constitutional principle of freedom of expression and run contrary to the African Charter on fundamental rights and the right of the people to know.
The Guild strongly objects to these guidelines in their entirety as they serve no public good except the myopic interest of its chroniclers and purveyors.