Nasarawa crisis: Lawmakers ban state media from covering Assembly proceedings

Umaru Tanko Al Makura, Nasarawa State Governor

The governor of Nasarawa State and the House of Assembly are at logger heads.

The friction between the Nasarawa State House of Assembly and the state governor, Tanko Al-Makura, worsened on Monday with the former banning all state media from covering its activities and proceedings.

The State House of Assembly said the ban was necessary because the state owned media had demanded N10 million as commercial fee for the ongoing live coverage of the assembly proceedings.

The decision to ban the state media was reached after the house deliberated on a letter from the state broadcast media, Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS), demanding N10 million monthly for the live coverage of the assembly’s sitting which was initially done for not more than N500, 000: N300, 000 for live coverage and N200, 000 for programmes.

The Majority Leader of the Assembly, Godiya Akwashiki (PDP), representing Nasarawa Eggon West, briefed the lawmakers on the letter.

Mr. Akwashiki told the Assembly that the NBS General Manager, Yusuf Musa, said he was instructed by five commissioners not to move the outside broadcasting van, OB Van, used for the live coverage.

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Contributing on the floor of the Assembly, Peter Umbucho, (PDP) representing Akwanga North, urged his colleagues to ban all state media outfit from covering its activities.

He said that since it is the Assembly that approves the budget of all government agencies including the state media outfit they would find appropriate channel of getting solutions.

“Will they ask the executive to pay for such services when they are called upon?” he asked.

Supporting the motion, Baba Ibaku, Chairman, House Committee on Information, representing Udege Loko constituency in the Assembly, seconded the motion for the banning of state media and their staff from covering the activities of the house henceforth.

He then called on the lawmakers to seek alternatives and then disclosed that the assembly had made arrangements for live coverage by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria’s Precious FM, located in Lafia.

The Assembly, in a unanimous decision, directed Moses John, the staff covering the house for the state media, to leave the chambers and also vowed to amend the law establishing the media outfit.

The speaker, Musa Mohammed, also directed the house committee on information to carry out a thorough investigation of the matter.

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