By Archibong Jeremiah
Reports that the Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade barred Government House Correspondents of selected media organizations from covering his activities have continued to generate reactions.
The Cross River State Chapter Chairman, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) Pastor Sunday Michael, has joined in cautioning the governor, not to bar any media organization in the State from playing their constitutional role.
Sunday, who urged the media to always consider national security and development in the discharge of their duty, equally implored the Governor to do everything possible to work closely with the Press in the interest of the State.
According to him, baring the media “cannot be a welcomed development, I don’t think the media should be muscled for any reason. At all times media must be allowed to do what it’s supposed to do, to do its work as enshrined in the constitution. However we shouldn’t allow anybody to suppress the media.”
Reacting to the video which is allegedly upsetting Ayade he maintained that, “It was a public event and the Governor has a way of relieving Cross Riverians anytime they are burdened, anytime we see him dancing at times we are very happy so I don’t want to believe that is the reason, maybe there might be other reasons we don’t know, it will be good if the Chief Press Secretary will expand on that because I watched the video and I liked it.
“However the Governor should try to do everything possible to work with the media closely, I’m one of the people that believe criticism is what makes government, because many times what your aides will be afraid to tell you, an outsider will be able to tell you and you may look at it and see how to correct it.”
Concluding, he said, “I know the Governor as somebody who listens to criticism, so he should look into it and ensure it is not the work of his overzealous aides. The press must not be muzzled.”
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