Akase: Journalists not barred from Covering Benue Peoples House



Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Governor Samuel Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Terver Akase, has denied social media reports that he barred a group of journalists from covering today’s Expanded State Executive Council meeting held at the Benue Peoples House in Makurdi.

Recall that there was a media report which was promoted by members of the opposition’s social media team this afternoon that the Benue government’s spokesperson ordered security operatives at the government house to stop journalists from attending the event.

But in a brief telephone chat with one of our reporters, Mr. Akase made it known that there was no time any journalist or a group of journalists was barred from the government house.

The CPS also said that he personally explained to few reporters that couldn’t gain entrance into the government house where the Expanded Exco Meeting which Members of the State Action Committee on Covid-19 also attended, and they all understood.

According to him, the media report which he described as “fake” was cooked just to paint the administration of Governor Ortom as one that isn’t media friendly.

Akase however admitted that number of those coming into the government house is now being limited in the best interest of everyone as a result of COVID-19 epidemic.

His words: “The said report was untrue as there was no time I gave an order that journalists should be barred from performing their official duties at the government house.

” Governor Samuel Ortom-led administration is a media friendly administration that holds members of the media profession in high esteem so we didn’t bar journalists from covering today’s meeting.

“The decision to limit the number of those coming into Government House is in the best interest even of the journalists themselves. Recall that Aso Villa and other State Governments have done same to prevent further spread of Coronavirus.

“It is in line with the safety measures against Covid-19 which we are told not to gather crowd in one place. The meeting was done peacefully and no reporter was harassed. I personally explained to them (Reporters) and they understood.

” Remember that all members of correspondents chapel in the state entered plus all Government House press crew. We also asked those who covered the briefing after Exco to share the story with their colleagues

“If we had allowed all Makurdi journalists to go in, the place would have been too crowded, and then, they would have been writing a different report that we violated government’s law that crowd must not be gathered anywhere for any reason”