fani kayode

…Says NUJ has got me completely wrong

By Idowu Bankole

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Aviation Minister has on Tuesday reacted to the viral video where he described a journalist with the Daily Trust, Eyo Charles, as very stupid at a press conference in Calabar Cross River state, insisting that he has no apology for his res[ponse.

The Former Aviation Minister, in a statement released on his social media handles, described the question by the journalist, Mr Eyo Charles, as “an assertion and insult”, saying he has been engineered by his political enemies who wanted to embarrass him.

The former Aviation reacting to the Viral video insisted that the question was an assertion and insult which would have elicited same or stiffer reactions from either President Trump or former Nigerian leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo if confronted with the same situation.

Fani-Kayode disclosed that the Journalist, Eyo Charles, has since apologised to him and he (Fani-Kayode) has since moved on.

Also read: Concerned Nigerians condemn arrest of journalist, Yahaya Usman

Recall that the former aviation minister, in recent weeks, has been touring states in the geo-political zones of the country and meeting PDP governors.

“During my tour of the South and after a long and successful press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers 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 Trump or OBJ I know how they would have reacted.”

“Below is my response and 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.”

“This is all the more so when it is clear that the assertion was sponsored and engineered by my political enemies who wanted to use the young man to insult and embarrass me and question my integrity. Well, they got more than they bargained for.”

Insisting the question was an insult aimed to embarrass him, Fani-Kayode stated that “I repeat this was not a question but an assertion and an insult and I will not accept that from any man born of woman.”

Permit me to add the following to my earlier statement. I have taken note of the report by Daily Trust on the incident. The content is false. I didn’t send any of my security men to threaten their reporter.

I only reprimanded him for a premeditated plan to embarrass me and he apologised thereafter. That was all.

This is not a battle between me and the esteemed Nigerian journalists who respect the ethics of the noble profession.

I have always been and will always be a friend to journalists and a champion of freedom of speech. What I will not accept are brazen insults from an individual in the name of journalism.

The assertion or assumption that I am being bankrolled by anyone is deeply insulting.

“Finally to the NUJ I say you have got me completely wrong. It would have been better if you had heard my own side of the story and established who was behind this whole incident and attempt to embarrass me, who paid for it and how much they paid before going to press. Nevertheless, I still hold you in high esteem.”

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