The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has described the attack on Daily Trust Cross River state correspondent, Eyo Charles, by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) as “gangster-like outburst” from an “unstable person.”
This was contained in a media release on 25th August 2020 by NUJ, signed by the National President, Chris Isiguzo. In the release, the NUJ accused Chief Femi Fani-Kayode of assaulting the journalist and threatening him for daring to ask a simple question.
“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.”
The NUJ reminded FFK of the constitutional rights of journalists to monitor and keep check on people and institutions and that as a politician, who had already visited six states inspecting public projects, he should expect the media to hold him to account for his actions and decisions.
According to NUJ, “by delving into politics and holding political office, Fani-Kayode is very conversant with the watchdog role of the media. For him to have embarked on 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.”
The NUJ described his reaction as “totally unacceptable, dishonourable and reprehensible and we demand for retraction of his untoward, irritating and awkward utterances which negate simple decorum and civility.”
The NUJ further said it was even more shocking that FFK, “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.”
The NUJ said FFK’s action was “totally reprehensible” and “indeed, terribly disappointing.”