The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has lambasted the former minister of aviation, Femi Fani Kayode for verbally assaulting Cross River State Correspondent of the Daily Trust Newspaper, Eyo Charles.
The PDP chieftain had held a press conference in Cross River State at the end of his tour of states in the South-South region controlled by the party.
The ex-minister in a viral video was seen attacking the journalist and calling him stupid for asking the ex-minister if his tour was being sponsored by any politician or political group.
In his reaction, Kayode had insulted the journalist and threatened him for daring to ask such a question.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Chris Isiguzo, the NUJ 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.”
It added that, “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.
“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 also described Fani-Kayode’s outburst as unacceptable and reprehensible, adding that he should retract “his untoward, irritating and awkward utterances”.
“His reaction was totally unacceptable, dishonourable and reprehensible, and we demand for retraction of his untoward, irritating and awkward utterances which negate simple decorum and civility.
“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”, it added.