SONA Debate: Speaker Threatens To Revoke Media Accreditation

Professor Mike Oquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye has threatened to cause the withdrawal of accreditation for the media in Parliament for failing to cover the debate on President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address.

Journalists in Parliament on Tuesday stepped out of the chamber following the decision by the Minority to abstain from the debate on the address in line with their earlier walkout.

The media, however, returned after interviews with the NDC MPs regarding their decision to abstain from the debate. But Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu today took an issue with the action of the media with a reminder that their allegiance is to parliament and not individual MPs.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu agreed that journalists in parliament must focus on the chamber but argued the majority MPs did worse when they were on the other side.

Prof. Oquaye registered his disdain for the action of the media threatening to make them unwelcome guests should the episode repeat itself.

“Apart from the recognition and permission granted by the Speaker, members of the parliamentary press corps will be strangers in this house. In other words, you have our permission to be here by dint of your profession and the work expected of them and we regard them very highly.

“And I want to let the media know that what is reported to have happened should not happen anymore, I have reminded you of the fact that you are here as our guests, by my permission because of the importance this House attaches to the inky profession. Any such repetition will make you unwelcome guests,” the Speaker said.

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