FFK reacts as NUJ condemns him for clashing with a reporter in Calabar
Hours after Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) forwarded a statement in reacting to the encounter between Femi Fani-Kayode and a Daily Trust reporter, Eyo Charles, the former Minister for aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has reacted to the statement.
WITHIN NIGERIA had earlier reported that during a media briefings with some of the journalists after a recent tour of some South-South and southeast states, former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode blasted a journalist who asked him about being bankrolled.
Reacting to the incident, the NUJ through a statement released by its National President, Chris Iziguzo condemned FFK for his outburst at the journalist who according to the union was only asking a simple question.
Speaking on the incident, the former Minister released a statement narrating why he blasted the reporter.
”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. Above is my response & I have no apology to offer for it. The young man apologised to me during the press conference & sent his apologies to me after the conference.
I have accepted his apologies & moved on. I have always had respect for journalists & always will. Those of them that know me or worked with or for me over the last 30 years can attest to that. However there is a distinction between asking a question & offering an 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.
I repeat this was not a question but an assertion and an gratutious insult and I will not accept that from any man born of woman. Thank you.”
The former Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode later released another statement yesterday evening while reacting to NUJ statement.
Fani-Kayode said the NUJ got him all wrong and that it would have been better if they heard his own side of the story.
Read FFK’s statement below:
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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