COVID-19: Why some reporters were asked to leave the public hearing

Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan

A member of the Chamber of Deputies, Honorable Adedeji Olajide, on Saturday, clarified the role he played in the departure of some journalists from the site of a public hearing organized by the House Ad hoc Committee in Covid-19 on Friday.

Olajide, who is a member of the committee, maintained that considerations about the safety of everyone present and the need to adhere to the Covid-19 social detachment protocols were the reasons behind the request to some journalists, parliamentary advisers and security details to leave the location of the public hearing.

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The legislator representing the Constituent Group of Ibadan Noroeste / Ibadan Sudoeste when giving the clarification noted that if the war against COVID-19 is won, everyone should be ready to do the right thing and make sacrifices, noting that the expulsion of the few Local people were a sacrifice they had to make for their own safety and that of others sitting inside the hall.

According to the legislator, the public hearing was held in one of the Chamber of Deputies Committee rooms and was attended by the Minister of Health, Minister of State for Health and Director General of the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC), a development that, according to him, attracted many people to the place.

According to Olajide, as a member of the ad hoc committee of COVID-19, not only was the committee responsible for supervisory functions in the appropriate bodies during the pandemic, but it was also mandated to spread the message in Covid -196 prevention protocols and it seems doing everything right and setting a good example for the population at a time when governments at all levels are preaching social distance, wearing face masks and so on.

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He stated that this perception was responsible for the decision to reduce the number of people inside the site, saying that, unlike some publications he has repelled & # 39; local journalists in an undisciplined manner, he, in fact, asked some guests, including advisers to parliamentarians, security officers and some journalists sitting at the back of the venue to excuse the meeting.

Olajide maintained that the action did not fit well with some journalists, who he accused of going out to tarnish his personality, noting, however, that he would continue to value journalists, knowing the strategic importance of the profession for the construction of the nation.

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He said: “I read several publications from different media showing me bad about a situation that took place at a public hearing in Covid-19 organized by the ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives in Covid-19, which was present by the Minister of Health, the Minister of State for Health and the Director General of the Nigeria Disease Control Center (NCDC).

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“The audience place was full of people, probably because of the importance of the topic. At one point, Mr. Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Haruna Mshelia, had to make a passionate appeal to those present to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol on detachment.

“Unfortunately, as the place was packed, the request was not granted and it was at that moment that I, as a member of the committee, came up to the occasion claiming to the people sitting at the back of the place that neither the members of the committee nor the officers of the MDAs were kindly waiting at the event to excuse the meeting.

“I was informed of the fact that some of these people were reporters, but since many of their colleagues were at the front of the recording, I figured it would be possible to share recordings and write stories after the transcripts had been made.

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“Many of the reporters accepted the request and apologized with kindness, while others showed a little resistance, as the idea did not fit well with them. But at no time did I act in an undisciplined way with anyone or order the sergeant-at-arms to drag reporters or any other guest.

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“It is not my character to be undisciplined with anyone, least of all members of the Fourth Kingdom State.

“Therefore, I state categorically that the smear campaign against me, contained in the publications, is unjustified, because it is based on untruths.

“I have always evaluated journalists and consider them partners in progress in the task of building the nation. But I advise you not to become vindictive, even when you are harmed, as you have an important weapon that you can build or destroy, depending on which use they use. "

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