Following the backlash that greeted the reported ban of Punch newspaper and some other media houses from covering activities of the Presidency in Abuja, the media office of the seat of power in Nigeria has come out to clarify issues saying it was not borne out of ill-feeling but a necessity.
It will be recalled that the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday, 24th March, 2020 reportedly stopped some media houses from covering the activities of the Presidency on a day that the news broke that the Chief of Staff to the President; Mallam Abba Kyari had tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus.
Later, a statement from the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, clarified that the action was taken in view of the unfortunate spread of the Coronavirus which had made it imperative to limit the number of people at any gathering.
The media organizations who have been stopped from covering the Presidency’s activities are; Africa Independent Television (AIT), Arise TV, Silverbird Television (STV), Ben TV and a number of radio stations.
Also banned were reporters from Punch Newspapers, Thisday Newspapers, Tribune Newspapers, The Guardian Newspapers, Vanguard Newspapers, Daily Trust Newspapers and some other frontline print media.
Some media organizations were however permitted to have presence through representation by their photo journalists.
Those approved for coverage are; Channels TV, Nigerian television Authority (NTA), Television Continental (TVC), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), The Sun Newspapers, Voice of Nigeria (VON), and federal radio corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).
Some Photo Journalists from the following newspapers were also approved for coverage of presidential activities; Thisday Newspapers, Guardian Newspapers, Leadership Newspapers, Vanguard Newspapers, and Daily Trust Newspapers.