OMPAN warns speaker of Abia, Emeruwa, against attempts to oppress the press

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The Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Emmanuel Emeruwa, has been accused of presenting himself as an enemy of the press, a risky move for a public officer with future ambitions.

Recently, Emeruwa walked out two correspondents from Enyimba FM Aba, who were accredited by the Information Unit of the House of Assembly, from his press conference. This move has been described as laughable, infantile, and provocative.

Promise Uzoma Okoro, Chairman of Online Media Practitioners in Abia State, warned that Emeruwa cannot defeat the press, no matter how hard he tries. Okoro stated that the press is mightier than the sword and that no public officer can defeat a united press, especially in Nigeria where press freedom is guaranteed.

Okoro also reminded Emeruwa that as a public officer, he has lost a part of his right to privacy and must be monitored and held accountable to the people at all times. He urged the Speaker to stop shying away from scrutiny, lest he be seen as incompetent and resign for a more competent person to take over.

The clash between Emeruwa and the press has raised concerns among Abians, who fear that if the Speaker becomes the Executive Governor, he would trample on press freedom and violate the Constitution he swore to protect.

The Abia State House of Assembly has been advised to focus on its media team, which seems non-existent, given the backlash from the Speaker’s two press conferences since June 13th, 2023.

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