related Presidency restricts Villa coverage to 13 media houses, bars AIT, Punch, others

Presidency restricts Villa coverage to 13 media houses, bars AIT, Punch, others

The Presidency has scaled down the coverage of the State House by media houses to only 13 in the wake of coronavirus spread to the seat of power.

A statement issued by the Director of Information at the State House, Attah Esa says that the media restriction is in compliance with the “social distancing” rule and ban on public gatherings of more than 50 people.

According to the statement, the restriction takes effect today, Wednesday, March 25, and will be in place “until further notice as the coronavirus incident indicates.”

Esa said the Presidency had also scaled down the number of staff in other departments as well, noting that “over 100” correspondents gathering for work daily was not in line with the social distancing rule and overcrowding.

The 13 media houses granted access to the villa are; Deutsche Welle, NTA, Channels TV, TVC, FRCN, VON, NAN, The Sun, ThisDay, Leadership, Daily Trust, The Guardian and Vanguard.

AIT, Punch, SaharaReporters, Premium Times and other media platforms that have been more critical of the Muhammadu Buhari's administration were included in the 'ban' list.

Reports say that the directive was part of efforts that may gradually lead to shutting down the Villa, except for essential services.

It came amid reports on Tuesday that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and three of his members of staff, tested positive for coronavirus.

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