OrderPaperToday – Security personnel at the National Assembly a short while ago manhandled journalists accredited to cover the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The journalists were harassed for using their mobile devices to take photographs and record videos at the main entrance of the National Assembly.
President Buhari is expected to lay the 2020 budget proposal before a joint session of the legislature this afternoon. Ahead of the event, security have since been beefed up with operatives of the Depart of State Security (DSS), the Nigeria Police Force, among others, stationed at the prencinct and entrance to the national assembly.
Some police personnel caused a stir among journalists when they ceased the phone and other gadgets the affected journalists were using to carry out their duties.
According to one of the affected journalists who works with a broadcast station in Abuja, an attempt to intervene in the prolonged interrogation of another colleague incurred the wrath of the personnel.
According to him, “the lady colleague who was delayed explained that she was carrying out her duty assigned to her in the office only for the security men to come and cease her phone”.
“Few minutes later, the security personnel released the gadget to her, I worked into the main gate after being allowed. I then took a wide shot on the situation of the gate. While I was walking away, an armed police personnel called me and I respectfully honoured his call. Approaching him, three others of his colleagues dragged me and snatched my phone from me insisting that the picture I took must be deleted.
“They dragged me and tore the tag issued to me and other journalists and took me to their boss who requested that I identify myself after asking me to calm down. I later identified myself that I am an accredited journalist assigned to cover the laying of the 2020 budget proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“After after giving me attention, he then apologized and asked his men to release my belongings.”