The verbal attack on a Daily Trust reporter by a former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has been condemned by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Fani-Kayode was captured in a viral video pouring invectives on the reporter, Eyo Charles, whom he said asked him an “insulting” question.
The incident happened at a press briefing on Thursday in Calabar, Cross River State, where Fani-Kayode wanted to talk to reporters about his tour of projects in the state.
The NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, said in a statement, Tuesday, that Fani-Kayode’s attack against Charles was “gangster-like”.
Isiguzo said the reporter was only asking “a simple question”.
“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.
Isiguzo said the former minister’s reaction to the reporter’s 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,” the NUJ president said.
“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.”
Media Trust, the employer of the reporter, is yet to react to the development.