Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Terkimbi Ikyange has explained that he has not barred any media organization from covering the activities of the Assembly.
Nigerian Pilot Saturday recalls that Channels Television was last Thursday barred from covering the activities of the Assembly.
However, the Speaker in a press statement signed by Bem Abunde, his press secretaty said it was expedient to explain what transpired that day in view of reports making the rounds that he has barred the television station from publicizing the legislative activities of the 8th Benue Assembly.
Ikyange who noted the significant role played by Channels Television in enthroning the “CHANGE AGENDA” currently being enjoyed by Nigerians and Benue People in particular, through effective and balanced reportage of political activities that led to the 2015 general election, said the Benue State House of Assembly cannot exclude it from covering the House activities for whatever reason.
According to the Speaker who represents Ushongo constituency, the Assembly under his leadership will be highly delighted to have a reputable television station like Channels to be publicizing its activities even on a daily basis, and wondered why anybody will insinuate that he barred it from performing its constitutional role of informing Nigerians about happenings in the Assembly.
The Speaker further disclosed that as lawmakers elected to represent their people, the House owed the public a responsibility to be accountable and transparent in all its dealings, hence the need to allow credible media outfits like Channels Television to assist in this regard.
He explained that due to the security concerns arising from the previous sitting of the Assembly, coupled with the security report received from security agencies, there was the need to beef up security in and around the Assembly complex, while journalists coming to cover its proceedings were also subjected to security checks.
The Speaker therefore described as false the claim by the television reporter that all other journalists were allowed access to the complex except Channels Television crew, adding that the only group of journalists that were allowed into the Chamber was those that made up the Assembly media crew due to their earlier accreditation.
He said it has been a policy of the Assembly leadership to accredit journalists covering its activities, saying it has no intention to prevent any media outfit from covering its activities, even as he advised journalists to subject themselves to the accreditation process in the House to ascertain those covering its activities.

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