Buhari Distance Self From Proposed Press Council Bill Amendment

The Presidency has stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is not behind plans to amend the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) act.

This was stated by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The bill, which seeks to repeal and re-enact the NPC act, was considered at a public hearing organised by the house of representatives committee on information, national orientation, ethics and values.

Media stakeholders had subsequently kicked against the proposed amendment over some provisions they described as unconstitutional, TheCable reports.

Azu Ishiekwene, a member of the Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO) — the NPO covers the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN); Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) — had said almost half of the 39 clauses in the bill contained unconstitutional regulations capable of stifling journalism practice.

Ishiekwene said the NPO had challenged the clauses up to the supreme court, and that continuing with the amendment would amount to preempting the court on the matter.

Speaking to newsmen after the weekly meeting of the federal executive council (FEC) on Wednesday, in Abuja, Femi Adesina said Buhari “has nothing to do” with the plan.

He said the proposed amendment is a federal government initiative, and as such, only the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, can address it.

“That is not strictly a presidency thing because the president has nothing to do with that. It’s a government thing and it’s the minister that can talk about it. So, thank you,” he said.

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