The Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has again banned holding Press conferences outside the Press Centre at Moscow Road, Port Harcourt.
The council took the decision for the second time at its April Congress meeting held on Wednesday and threatened to sanction any of its members who attend a Press conference outside the Press Centre.
The Union, in a statement signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Comrades Stanley Job Stanley and Ike Wigodo respectively, also vowed to disrupt any Press conference that is organised outside the Press Centre without the permission of the union leadership.
“The Union will no longer tolerate and allow Press conferences to hold outside the Press Centre without the permission of the leadership of the NUJ. This is what is obtainable in other states.
“The Press Centre is meant for Press conferences just as the court is meant for hearing litigations”, NUJ stated.
According to the Union, the era when politicians, private organisations and individuals invite journalists to hotels or their private offices or houses for a Press conference is gone.
The statement, however, exempted the Rivers State Government House, the Police, Army and Navy from the list of institutions that were banned from holding Press conferences outside the Press Centre in view of their peculiar situations.
Warning that the Union is out to protect the integrity of the journalism profession and fish out those diminishing the profession, the statement said that the council would collaborate with the police and other security agencies to ensure that the Congress decision is effectively effected.
NUJ advised its members to adhere to the ethics of the journalism profession and also conduct themselves peacefully and professionally during this political season.
It would be recalled that the NUJ took a similar decision in 2019 when it set up an ad-hoc committee to monitor Press conferences in the state.