The Presidency on Monday, March 12, reportedly barred media houses from covering President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Benue State.
About 30 correspondents from various media organisations including Punch, ThisDay, Vanguard, Tribune, New Telegraph, The Nation were said to have boycotted from the Benue Government House ahead of Buhari’s arrival.
It was gathered that there was a directive from the Presidency to restrict the number of media organisations to cover the visit to seven.
The mediums granted access to cover the visit were The News Agency of Nigeria, Daily Sun, Voice of Nigeria, Daily Trust, Leadership, The Guardian and Daily Independent.
Securities operatives from Abuja, who had a different guest list from the one originally put together by the state, were said to have taken over the state visit.
It was gathered that the security men, mainly operatives of the Department of State Services, also sent other invited stakeholders away from the venue as well as some youths who came with placards to protest the incessant herdsmen killings in the state.
One of the protesters, Jonah Kwaor, who spokes to Punch, described the operatives as overzealous.
“We wanted the President to know the magnitude of the senseless killings in our communities, but security men, including the police, drove us away and seized some of our placards”, he said.
Also, members of the Peace Corps, who came to appeal to the President to reverse his decision and sign the Peace Corps bill, were barred from the Government House.