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Journalists deprived coverage at the South-South security summit in Asaba

Journalists mainly from the online platforms was yesterday barred from the south security summit held in Asaba, Delta State, following the low turnout of major stakeholders.

Our correspondent gathered that South-South governors that include the governor of Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River was said to be absent at Security summit; Asaba journalists mostly online reporters who the sources from the ministry of information told our correspondent that Delta information did not get grip of in the State were deprived from covering the event seeing the low turnout of participants.

Governors of South-South region were absent at the Regional Police Security summit 2019, with only host Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state and his counterpart, Mr. Godwin Obaseki physically in attendance, others who described the security summit as jamboree sent representatives.

The situation of discrimination which is perpetrated against some members of the chapels of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta Council in Asaba again came to the fore during summit when many journalists, especially members of the Delta Online Publishers Forum, DOPF, were denied access to cover the very important event of the South-South Nigeria Police Regional Summit with the theme “Strategic Partnership for Effective Policing,” aimed at strengthening community policing.

To the chagrin of journalists, they were denied access to the Event Centre venue of the summit and refused accreditation that should give them tags to enter at the order of a top ranking politician at the Ministry of Information in the State.

Accreditation officials said tags for journalists had been collected and taken into the venue, and so the journalist cannot be allowed to go in. Affected were many journalists of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ, including Mr. Chijioke Ugbolue, publisher of cshowcasenews.com, Mr. Chukwudi Abiandu, editor-in-chief of Banner online News; Mr. Julius Oweh, former editor of The Pointer newspaper, Vivian Edose, correspondent with Sunreporters among numerous other journalists, all of who are NUJ members.

Calls put through to NUJ Chairman, Mike Ikeogwu who said we should contact a particular journalist reporting for a particular newspaper. The journalists wondered if the correspondent is the one to determine who should cover the event.

The correspondent came and was seen handing over tags to members of the Correspondents Chapel of NUJ only, while the rest journalists, including online publishers of DOPF remained stranded as they waited through the unfolding drama of shame.

Shortly, an official of the Ministry of Information came out and was eye-picking, and handing over accreditation tags to those he said the Commissioner for Information directed him to give tags to.
Seeing the show of shame, demeaning discrimination many journalists, including Abiandu, had to leave.

Journalists are wandering why the regime of discrimination is being introduced against journalists who are not on the payroll of the State government in recent times.

Culled from sunreporters.com

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