General News of Sunday, 5 June 2016
The Member of Parliament for the Tano North Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region, Freda Prempeh, has defended a directive by the Public Affairs department of Parliament which restricts journalists’ access to the offices of MPs. The acting Director of Parliament’s Public Affairs Department, Kate Addo, issued a circular which prevents journalists from accessing MPs’ offices at the Job 600 without proper clearance.
Per the new directive, journalists who want to access the Job 600 complex would have to seek clearance from the Public Affairs Department before being allowed into the building to interview MPs. Directive will enhance MP’s security The Parliamentary Press Corps, angered by the directive, have threatened an indefinite boycott of activities of the House if the directive is not reversed. But the MP for Tano North, in an interview with Citi News, backed the directive. According to her, the directive will enhance the security of legislators.
“If you seek clearance from the public affairs department and I am informed that you are coming to my office, then I know I am secured so I think it is in the right direction. To come to my office I think you need clearance,” Mrs. Prempeh stated.
Directive not targeting press corps the journalists who feel offended by the directive have described it as unfortunate after efforts by the leadership of the Parliamentary Press Corps to reverse it failed.
The Secretary of Parliamentary Press Corps, Stephen Odoi Larbi, has said the Press Corp will meet with the leadership of the Public Affairs Department on Tuesday to clarify the matter. He is however of the view the directive is not targeting members of the Press Corps. According to him, their only problem is that they are yet to receive the ID cards that will grant them clearance to the Job 600 offices.