The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has slammed Nigeria’s former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, following the verbal assault of a journalist working for Daily Trust newspaper, Mr. Charles Eyo.
This followed after the reporter asked the politician if he was being financed by any political figure or political group for his trips, in a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State. However, Fani-Kayode reacted to the query and described him as ‘very stupid’ for asking such a question.
In a statement released on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, the NUJ President, Mr. Chris Isiguzo disclosed that the former minister’s intimidation to the journalist had revealed him as intolerant. “It is instructive to remind the likes of Fani-Kayode that it is the constitutional right of journalists to monitor and keep a check on people, and institutions in power.
“By delving into politics and holding political office, Kayode is very conversant with the watchdog role of the media. For him to have embarked on an assessment of projects in some states, even though we are yet to be told under what platform he is doing so, it is proper for the media to hold him to account for his actions and decisions,” said Isiguzo.
The NUJ President reported that Fani-Kayode’s treat over a simple question on who was behind his nationwide tour was unacceptable. “His reaction was totally unacceptable, dishonourable and reprehensible and we demand a retraction of his untoward, irritating and awkward utterances which negate simple decorum and civility.
“We are more shocked that the same Fani-Kayode who had in recent times, used his social media handles to call leaders to account is at the same time attacking a journalist,” stated the NUJ leader.