There was outrage on Monday over stringent conditions rolled out by the National Assembly management that would prevent journalists from covering the ninth National Assembly.
The management, in a statement by the Director of Information, Emmanuel Agada, in Abuja said the new guidelines for fresh accreditation would take effect on the day of inauguration.
Groups, including the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the Nigerian Union of Journalists and the Nigerian Guild of Editors, berated the management of the National Assembly over conditions given for accreditation of journalists.
The NUJ said it had given the National Assembly management 24 hours to withdraw the guidelines it described as satanic.
The management of the National Assembly had in the statement said permanent and temporary accreditation of journalists would be issued to various categories of journalists currently covering the federal parliament.
With the new guidelines in place, the statement explained that all previous accreditation granted to journalists covering the National Assembly would lapse with the dissolution of the eight Assembly (on June 8).”
Some of the 20 conditions listed by the management are evidence of incorporation of the media organisation, proof of membership of the NUJ with registration number and the code of certification from the National Library of Nigeria.
Others are circulation of at least 40,000 newspaper copies daily with evidence to support the claimed figure, evidence of 50,000 daily views in the case of online media and photocopies of media organisation’s tax return for at least two years.
Other requirements for fresh accreditation are evidence of membership of professional bodies for media organisation, a functional bureau in Abuja with staff strength of not less than five editorial staff publishing daily and on weekend.
The statement added that the re-certification form must be signed and endorsed by the Chief Executive Officer of the media organisation and the bureau chief, or the city editor as the case might be.
The statement read, “The media organisations concerned must have experience of covering proceedings of the National Assembly for at least two years before applying for permanent accreditation.
“All media organisations will submit a copy of their income tax return for the last two years. All online media site must have been in operation for five years and provide satisfactory evidence to this effect with clippings of the news utilised (especially parliamentary news).
“Only television stations with national coverage and specific independent producers with current running programme on the National Assembly will be allowed access into the Chambers on a permanent basis (All the production crew will be accredited as entity).
“All correspondents must attach photocopy of letter of appointment of the media organisation on whose behalf, request has been received for grant of accreditation.
“All freelance journalists seeking permanent accreditation must show evidence of not less than five years coverage of the National Assembly proceedings/full editorial focus and publication on parliamentary reportage.
“It is only journalists and correspondents whose media organisations meet the above requirements for permanent accreditation that will be entitled to carry National Assembly Identity Card/Membership of the respective Press Corp
“All other media organisations who do not meet the above requirements will be captured under the temporary accreditation status and they will not be entitled to carry the National Assembly identity card/membership of the press corps of the Senate and House of Representatives.
“All temporary accredited media houses, journalists/correspondents shall be allowed into the National Assembly for specific coverage not exceeding one week in the first instance and not more than twice in a month.
“All foreign/international media houses seeking accreditation shall abide by all the diplomatic protocols established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for foreign media organisations, the Code of Ethics for Nigerian journalists and security clearance before accreditation will be considered upon the recommendation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“All permanently accredited journalists/correspondents shall submit recertification letter from the chief executive officer of their media organisation on a seasonal basis failure to which accreditation shall be withdrawn forthwith.
“All accredited media organisation will be considered as a single entity in the issuance of passes irrespective of their membership of Senate and House of Representatives Press Corp.
“These new accreditation guidelines shall come into effect from June 1, 2019.
“With these new guidelines in place, all previous accreditation granted to journalists covering the National Assembly-will lapse with the dissolution of the 8th Assembly.
“All journalists/correspondents covering the National Assembly are by this press release advised to do the needful by getting a fresh letter 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 ninth Assembly.”
Travel Agent Scams Cristiano Ronaldo of £250,000, Jailed
A travel agent, named Maria Silvia scammed Manchester United striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, out of £250,000 (about N140 million) after the football star entrusted her with his credit cards and pin.
The 53-year-old travel agent also scammed Ronaldo’s super-agent Jorge Mendes of £14,000 and Manchester United winger, Nani, of over £1,500.
Due to her wrongdoing, Silvia got a four-year suspended prison sentence on Sunday after being earlier convicted by a Porto criminal court in 2017.
It was also revealed that Ronaldo was targeted for three years between February 2007 and July 2010.
The paper read, “Afterwards the travel agent had to plug the hole in the firm’s accounts. She, therefore, began to bill those trips to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had an account at Geostar and for practical reasons, handed the agent a virtual credit card and pin code. It was a green route to taking money out.”
Quoting a renowned Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias, Sun Sports reported that the 36-year-old Ronaldo submitted a statement to the police after flying to the court to meet up with his lawyer.
The travel agent, who currently works as a cleaner, was first interrogated in 2011 before her eventual sentence on Sunday, September 19, 2021.
I am Getting Better, Says Hospitalised Pele
Brazilian football legend Pele said Sunday he is “punching the air” to celebrate “every better day” after the 80-year-old suffered his latest health scare.
“As you can see, I’m punching the air in celebration of every better day,” Pele wrote on Instagram beside a photograph of him sitting in a hospital chair, watched over by two medical staff.
The three-time World Cup winner was Friday briefly transferred back to an intensive care unit at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, where he underwent surgery earlier this month, after suffering breathing difficulties.
“A good mood is the best medicine and I have plenty of that. It couldn’t be different,” he added Sunday.
“I have received so much affection that my heart is full of gratitude. Thanks to all the amazing staff at Albert Einstein Hospital!”
His condition had been described as stable.
Pele’s daughter Kely Nascimento also posted a photo of herself next to her father in the hospital on Friday, seeking to cheer up his fans.
We Won’t Accept Second Position in 2023 – NEF
The Northern Elders Forum has said the north was in the process of rebuilding itself and was not prepared to play second fiddle in a nation where it clearly enjoys numerical strength.
Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden Maitama Sule Lecture Series organized by the students’ wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, on Saturday.
He said, “We will lead Nigeria the way we have led Nigeria before whether we are President or Vice President, we will lead Nigeria. We have the majority of the votes and democracy says vote whom you want.
“Why should we accept a second class position when we know we can buy a form and contest for first class and we will win?
“Why does anybody need to threaten us and intimidate us? We will get that power but be humble because power comes from God. We inherited leadership and being honest is not being stupid.
“The North has pride; we are humble enough to know that we are going to run Nigeria with other people but we are not going to pay a second fiddle to anybody. We may not have the most robust economy, there are people who are trying to strangulate us even more than we are being strangled.
“We are ready for this. We will consider every economic adversity, challenge. We will fix the Northern economy and we are the only one who can fix this Northern economy. For that reason, we are not for sale. We are in the process of rebuilding the North and we will rebuild the North from 2023.
“Whether the North holds power in 2023 or not anybody who wants to break up in this country will say so, they are just looking for excuses. This is democracy. If they don’t like what Nigeria is, they will say they want to break up from this country, we don’t pay attention to those people, we are focused on the fact that we are running a democratic system.
The NEF’s spokesman added, “If the majority of Nigeria voters vote for a candidate from the North and he becomes the President and somebody doesn’t want to live under the Nigeria President, the person can leave.”