The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN, has asked the management of the National Assembly to withdraw the draconic guideline it set for the accreditation of journalists and media outfits intending to cover the parliament.
OPAN in a statement signed by its President, Austyn Ogannah, described the guideline as part of a sustained plot by the political class to gag the free press in Nigeria.
Instead, it advised the National Assembly to set a reasonable guideline that will not impede or frustrate journalists and media outfits from covering the legislative arm of government.
“This new guideline is silly, idiotic and crude. It is a ploy by political elites to gag the free and thriving press in Nigeria.
“We will resist this barricade to free reporting and advise NASS to retain the present accreditation guideline which is less cumbersome for media outfits and journalists.”
OPAN emphasized the critical and sacrosanct role of the free press in democracy and urged those in position of authority to respect it.