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Ebonyi Govt bans magnetic-inductive devices inside exco chambers, frustrates journalists

Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State

The Ebonyi Government has banned commissioners, journalists and other individuals from using magnetic-inductive devices at the state executive chambers and the governor’s office with immediate effect.

The ban was contained in a notice placed at the EXCO chambers and signed by the Governor’s Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Internal Security, Dr Kenneth Ugbala.

The affected devices, according to the notice include phones, laptops, palmtops, IPADS, IPODS, midgets, all forms of recorders and cameras.

The notice did not give reasons for the ban but the SSA warned that defaulters would be severely dealt with to ensure strict compliance with the directive.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) monitoring events at the government house on Monday, reports that top government officials, journalists among other were screened at the entrance of the chambers.

Commissioners and other government functionaries submitted their phones and other devices to security personnel at the chamber’s entrance before attending official events.

Journalists were also prevented from entering the chambers with their recorders as most of them entered with only pen and papers, while others shunned coverage of official events at the chambers in protest.

Mr Emmanuel Uzor, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary (CPS) told newsmen that they were henceforth banned from covering programmes inside the chambers with phones but could use recorders.

The situation however, took a twist when the security personnel prevented journalists from entering the chambers with recorders despite the intervention of the CPS.

The development irked journalists, especially those from broadcast medium, as they claimed they could not discharge their duties without recorders.

Uzor however, assured the journalists that the issue of using recorders would be sorted and appealed to them to remain calm.

NAN reports that the governor has on various occasions, blamed the spate of social media reactions to his comments on divulging of sensitive governmental information to public.

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