General News of Thursday, 27 February 2020
The leadership of parliament has said they will not support or be party to any move to gag the parliamentary press corps.
In a meeting between the leadership and the press corps on Thursday, 27 February 2020, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said: “We’ll not be party to any such decision or any such initiative that will undermine the frontiers of press freedom as an institution and as leaders of the house, we all share with you that the values of transparency and accountability are better-enhanced and better-deepened by free press.”
In the lawmaker’s view, the brouhaha that has arisen as a result of the Speaker’s threat to punish journalists who abandon parliamentary sessions to cover press conferences within the precincts of the legislature could have been handled differently.
“Probably, if we had had an in-house discussion at our level, this was a matter, which I believe, was just one which should have been referred to the Director of Public Affairs and the Dean and yourselves so that you should be the ones to regulate your conduct within the Standing Orders of Parliament,” he suggested.
Mr Iddrisu reiterated the house’s statement that there was no attempt by Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye or Parliament, as an institution, to gag the press when he made that threat.