JODER, IPC, MRA condemn Fani-Kayode’s attack on journalist
Insist he must explain sponsors of his trips
Nigeria’s foremost media rights group, Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), has said that the outburst of former Aviation Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, against a Daily Trust Correspondent did not address the fundamental question raised by the journalist on who funds his (Fani-Kayode) trips to the states he recently visited.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Adewale Adeoye, yesterday, JODER said the reporter’s question was legitimate and that the fury with which Fani-Kayode responded had further raised suspicion on who actually was funding his trip to the states.
The rights group said Fani-Kayode’s attitude was not only an attack on Daily Trust’s reporter, but a savage onslaught on the Nigerian media and a most irresponsible attack on free speech.
“Nigerians want to know who funds Femi Fani-Kayode’s trip to launder images of state governors. How much? Who pays the bills? The legitimate questions remain. Neither fury, anger nor threats can envelop this legitimate demand,” JODER said.
IN a similar vein, the International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the verbal assault on Daily Trust reporter by Fani-Kayode.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, yesterday, the Executive Director of the Centre, Lanre Arogundade, said: “IPC views this development as repulsive and unacceptable since there was nothing wrong with the journalist wanting to know if the tour was an independent initiative or a sponsored one.
“IPC, therefore, demands that Fani-Kayode should apologise to the journalist and give an assurance of his safety in view of the alleged further threats.”
ALSO, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has condemned Fani-Kayode’s outburst against Mr. Charles Eyo, Daily Trust Cross River State Correspondent in Calabar.
According to the group, such action is unbefitting of a public figure like Fani-Kayode just because the journalist asked him a simple question to enable him get a fuller picture of his trips round the country.
In a statement by MRA’s Director of Programmes, Mr. Ayode Longe, the organisation said Fani-Kayode should not have called a press conference if he was not willing to subject himself and his actions to scrutiny and had no business assessing the performance of anybody when he so strongly resents being asked to account for his actions.