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Rapprochement as Senate bows to pressure to take more TV cameramen

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By TUnde AdetUnji, Abuja.

Bowing to pressure, the Senate has reopened its chamber to more television stations which cameramen were sent packing as the lawmakers sought last week to streamline access to its floor.

Angry journalists had boycotted Senate coverage following the decision.

On Monday, Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sahabi Abdullahi flanked by Senate Clerk, Nelson Ayewoh and the Director of Information, Dibal Adamu, denied that the Upper House was involved in a ploy to stifle information dissemination when it reduced number of camera men on the floor to six from 14.

“We want to assure you of our total commitment to deepening democracy, rule of law and participatory governance. And, of course, we respect the fact that the media has that enviable responsibility of reporting whatever transpires here to Nigerians.

“We have an accredited list of cameramen – 14 of them – duly signed by the Chairman of Senate Press Corps for our guidance and we are totally committed to making sure that all of us play according to the rules of engagement so that we can have seamless reporting of what transpires in that chamber.”

In his response, the Chairman of the Senate PressCorps, Cosmas Ekpunobi, said: “For now, the status quo has returned and all the 14 member cameramen will return to their duty post tomorrow, with a slight adjustment to their earlier location.

“I want to pledge on behalf of members that we will abide by the new rules. We should also be seen as partners and part of this institution.”

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