By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A civil rights advocacy group, One Love Foundation, OLF, Wednesday, condemned verbal assault by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Daily Trust Newspaper correspondent in Calabar, Cross River State, Eyo Charles.
This was contained in a statement signed by the President and Founder, OLF, Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, which described the reaction of Fani-kayode as embarrassing and unacceptable.
According to the statement, the outburst of the former Minister was uncalled for because there was nothing wrong with Charles wanting to know if the tour was a sponsored one.
The statement reads in part, “One Love Foundation has condemned in strong terms the verbal assault inflicted on a Journalist by a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode.
“Mr. Eyo Charles, who reports for the Daily Trust Newspaper, was seen in a video asking the former Minister at a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria if he was funded to embark on a tour of projects in the state to which he responded with verbal attacks that have now been widely condemned by all and sundry.
“One Love Foundation views this development as embarrassing and unacceptable especially from a former minister since there was nothing wrong with Journalist Eyo Charles wanting to know if the tour was a sponsored one.
“We, therefore, demand that the former Minister should apologise to the Journalist and give assurance of his safety in view of the alleged further threats.
The statement also pointed out that in a democracy, journalists are saddled with the constitutional obligation of monitoring governance and holding the government accountable to the people should not be subjected to harassment in the course of duty.
“We also demand for some pertinent answers from Mr Femi Fani Kayode for boosting that he was a former minister; what was his achievements in office as a former Aviation Minister knowing fully well the rot in the aviation industry under his watch.
“Nigeria is not a banana republic, therefore, we urge Mr Femi Fani Kayode to apologise to Mr Eyo, NUJ, The Press Council and Nigerians for the shame and embarrassment he brought to all”, it added.