THE Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has reacted to a trending video where a former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, was abusing a journalist during a press conference in Calabar, Cross River State for trying to find out who is bankrolling his recent tour of some states in the country.
In the video, Kayode said, “I am saying this on live TV, what type of stupid question is that? Bankrolling who? Do you know who you are talking to? I will not take any questions from this man.
“What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll? To do what? Who can give me money for anything? Who do you think you are talking to? Go and report yourself to your publisher? Please don’t insult me here.
“I don’t want to take any questions from this man.
“I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are.
“Don’t ever talk to me like that; who do you think you’re talking to? Bankroll who? You think I am one of those ones you collect brown envelope from? who, when, how? You have a small mind, a very small mind.
“Don’t judge me by your own standards.”
Reacting to Kayode’s outbursts, the NUJ on Tuesday in a statement signed by its national president, Chris Isiguzo, said “By denigrating the journalist, Fani-Kayode, has exposed himself the more as an intolerant person who will not want his activities closely scrutinised by the media.
“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, Fani-Kayode is very conversant with the watchdog role of the media.
“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 for a simple demand for him to unmask those behind his nationwide tour.
“He had already visited six states. This is indeed, terribly disappointing.”
Also on Tuesday, Fani Kayode said, “During my tour of the South and after a long and successful press conference in Calabar, Cross River state, a journalist put up his hand for the last question and said, ‘well we do not know who is bankrolling you’.
“This is not a question but an assertion and an insult.
“And if this insulting assertion were made before (Donald) Trump or OBJ (Olusegun Obasanjo) I know how they would have reacted.
“I have no apology to offer for it.
“The young man apologised to me during the press conference and sent his apologies to me after the conference.
“I have accepted his apologies in good faith and moved on.
“I have always had respect for journalists and I always will.
“Those of them that know me or have worked with or for me over the last 30 years can attest to that.
“However, there is a distinction between asking a question and offering a gratuitous insult.”