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Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2018

Journalists barred from Presidential visit coverage in Zamfara

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From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

The entire members of the Correspondent’s Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Zamfara state council were barred by security operatives from covering the ongoing presidential visit to states rocked by security challenges.
President Muhammadu Buhari was scheduled to visit Zamfara state yesterday, but journalists could not access the building.
The visit was planned to sympathized and condole with the communities who suffered numerous attacks by the armed bandits which led to the loss of threatening number of innocent lives and property since 2011 to date in the state.
A combination of armed security operatives have threatened about 50 working journalists representing various media organisations to immediately leave the state government house Gusau where the President was expected to address the stakeholders or faced with highest stage of embarrassment.
In a brief conversation between the Chairman of the Correspondent’s Chapel, Maiharaji Altine Salah with one of the security personnel during the struggle for access, he warned that, “If you fail to comply with the directive given to us from the top, you should be blamed for receiving fired ammunitions from us, so, better respect yourself and leave”.
The visit which turned controversial has been challenged by even some politicians who spoke to Peoples Daily under anonymity, expressing doubt about whether President Buhari paid the visit or not as even newsmen who would cover the event was forced to maintain distance from the venue.
“It is sad that we are not allowed to reach out and cover this event for our readers, listeners and viewers, and this is a blackout caused by the security which is very wrong especially in a political dispensation”, one of the barred journalists was quoted saying.

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