The Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, has condemned Femi Fani-Kayode, former Minister of Aviation, over his verbal attack on a reporter with Daily Trust Newspaper, Charles Eyo.
NUJ berated Fani-Kayode for what it tagged as “gangster-like” attack on the journalist.
Fani-Kayode could be seen in a viral video hurling abusive words on the reporter during a press briefing for asking him what he termed “insulting question.”
Reacting, NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, in a statement, stressed that the reporter only asked “a simple question” and Fani-Kayode’s comment was uncalled for.
He said: “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.”
Isiguzo said Fani-Kayode’s reaction to the question was against “simple decorum and civility” and, therefore, “unacceptable, dishonourable and reprehensible.”
He demanded a retraction from him.
“By delving into politics and holding political office, Fani Kayode is very conversant with the watchdog role of the media.
“We are more shocked that the same Kayode who had in recent times, used his social media handles to call leaders to account is at the same time attacking a journalist for a simple demand for him to unmask those behind his nationwide tour.
“He had already visited six states. This is indeed, terribly disappointing.
“By denigrating the journalist, Fani Kayode has exposed himself the more as an intolerant and unstable person who will not want his activities closely scrutinised by the media.”
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, had also berated Fani-Kayode over his action.
SERAP said Fani-Kayode should publicly apologize for hurling insults at Eyo who was doing his job.
Reacting, SERAP in a series of tweets said nobody should verbally attack journalists doing their job.
“BREAKING: We condemn reported intimidation, harassment and attack on @daily_trust journalist by a former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode. Mr Fani-Kayode should publicly apologise to the journalist.
“No one should ever call any journalist “stupid” simply for doing their job
“Journalistic freedom also covers possible recourse to a degree of exaggeration, or even provocation. The media has a vital role to play as “public watchdog” in imparting information of serious public concern and should not be inhibited or intimidated from playing that role,” SERAP tweeted.