The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the verbal assault on the Cross River correspondent of Daily Trust newspaper Charles Eyo by a former minister of aviation Femi Fani-Kayode.
In a statement on Tuesday, NUJ president Chris Isiguzo said Mr Fani-Kayode’s threat to Eyo had exposed him as intolerant.
The former minister was seen in a video verbally assaulting the journalist at a press conference in Calabar, the Cross River capital, while responding to a question by the journalist.
“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,” Isiguzo said.
“By delving into politics and holding political office, 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.
“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 civiity.
“We are more shocked that the same Fani-Kayode who had in recent times, used his social media handles to call leaders to account is at the same time attacking a journalist.”
The NUJ president said Fani-Kayode’s threat over a simple question on who was behind his nationwide tour was disappointing.