Condemnations Trail Femi Fani-Kayode’s Vituperation Against Journalist

26 Aug 2020

Hi Folks,

“Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones” is a proverb used in several European countries.

It means that “One who is vulnerable to criticism regarding a certain issue should not criticize others about the same issue.”

The Nigeria media space has been agog with condemnation and name calling after Chief Femi Fani-Kayode lashed out at a journalist from Daily Trust Newspapers, Charles Eyo.

Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Culture and Tourism and Minister of Aviation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Eyo, in a Press Conference asked Fani-Kayode a question on who is bankrolling his trips round states led by the PDP and he went on a fit of rage, tagging the journalist “very stupid” and saying he “looked stupid”.

The Daily Trust Newspapers also made their position known via the statement below;

“The management of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust and other titles, would like to condemn the reprehensible actions of Femi Fani-Kayode, who in a video clip now gone viral, verbally assaulted – repeatedly – our reporter, Eyo Charles in the course of doing his job. The encounter occurred in Calabar, Cross River State, in the morning of Tuesday 25, August 2020 at a hotel, during a round-table with invited journalists”.

“During the round-table, Charles asked Fani-Kayode who was bankrolling his recent trips around Nigeria, to which the ex-minister responded with a raised voice, insults, and eventually a threat to inflict bodily harm on our reporter. The barrage continued for some minutes, while bewildered journalists, including our reporter, looked on.

See outburst here:

“The video clip, also released on one of the ex-minister’s social media accounts, was conveniently edited to exclude the question asked by Charles, totally devoid of mischief, simply sought clarification and information, like good journalism should. Said editing paved the way for a social media lynch mob to rain expletives on our reporter, labelling him as ‘rude’. This could not be further away from the truth, and we stand by Charles, and commend him for his calmness during the ordeal.

“Daily Trust reporters are responsible professionals, who uphold the tenets of journalism, as well as best practices.
That Fani-Kayode attacks a reporter doing his job, is an indication of the chilling disregard he has towards the media, and its work in investigating and reporting on issues.

“As always, we stand in solidarity with our reporters, and will continue to fight for the rights of all journalists. After all, journalism is part of the bedrock of democracy; therefore practitioners must not be intimidated or threatened as they carry out their work.

“We urge the Nigeria Police to take note, that if anything happens to Charles, Daily Trust will hold Fani-Kayode responsible, especially due to the intensity of the verbal threats he issued during the shocking incident.

“The actions of Fani-Kayode are not only reprehensible, but also constitute a setback to press freedom, in a most dire form. This kind of assault raises major concerns over the safety of journalists in Nigeria.

“Daily Trust is a completely independent media organisation that does not pander to the whims of any individual or group, no matter how powerful or well-placed in society. We will continue to serve Nigerians – and indeed the world – with quality, reliable reportage, no matter whose ox is gored,” the statement signed by Naziru Mikailu Abubakar, Daily Trust’s Executive Director/Editor-in-Chief said.

Many have agreed that the journalist, Charles Eyo was in line to have asked such question from the erstwhile politician. Femi Fani-Kayode has been at the forefront of the criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and it comes as a surprise that he could react in such a manner when asked a question on accountability.

Well… If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones. What do you think about Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s outburst? Please leave a comment.

Enjoy the rest of your week.


Ilupeju B