The Nigerian Presidency has withdrawn the accreditation for 25 journalists who were previously authorized to cover the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, which houses the president’s office and residence. The affected journalists were informed of the withdrawal of their accreditation when they arrived at the Villa on August 18, 2023 and were asked to submit their accreditation tags without being given any reason for the action.
Journalists affected cut across reporters, cameramen and photojournalists from broadcast, print and online media including those from PromptNews, ONTV, ITV Abuja, Liberty, Vanguard, Galaxy TV, Ben TV, MITV among others. They have been asked to source for video clips and other news materials from their colleagues whose accreditations were not withdrawn.
Out of 96 accredited media organizations that were hitherto covering the Presidency, the accreditation tags of 25 of the journalists and photojournalists were retrieved from them.
Mr. Ajuri Ngelale, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, explained that it was an internal attempt to reduce overcrowding across all departments of the State House saying the reduction did not affect only the media department.
Ajuri claimed, “The number of print photographers was bloated and reduced to ensure the efficient use of more than six remaining photographers, which does not include dozens of videographers still present, due to security concerns raised by State House officials and visiting dignitaries concerning the overcrowding of the press gallery area that blocks the walking path to the President’s Office.”
He said 62 other Press corps members remain, including all major print, online, and electronic media houses.