The Cross Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has blacklisted the state government over a verbal assault by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on a journalist.
In a communique issued at the end of an emergency congress on Thursday in Calabar, the state capital, the NUJ described the press briefing hosted by Fani-Kayode as illegal.
Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party chieftain had visited the state capital last week as part of his nationwide tour.
Mr Fani-Kayode was seen in a viral video verbally assaulting a Daily Trust newspaper correspondent, Charles Eyo, while responding to a question.
The ex-Minister’s action attracted widespread condemnation across board.
Although the 59-year-old has since expressed regrets over his utterances, the backlash has continued with the Akwa Ibom chapter boycotting his press conference.
In the communique co-signed by Chairman State Secretary, Richard Ndoma, and State President, Victor Udu, the Cross Rivers NUJ, as well as blacklisting the state government, equally barred its members from covering any of FFK’s events.
While expressing support for Mr Eyo, the NUJ mandated colleagues present at the event and did nothing to write an apology letter through the State Council to the National Leadership of the Union.
It also ordered organisations to withdraw their correspondents from the state Government House and stop them from covering or reporting any activity of the State Government until the issue is resolved.
It said henceforth, all press briefings by any individual(s), public or private organizations must be held at the NUJ Press Centre, unless as may be directed by the State Council.
The NUJ also warned that journalists who organize or attend any press briefing not approved by the State Council shall be sanctioned.
It, however, thanked the NUJ national leadership, Management of Daily Trust Newspaper, Civil Societies, Community Based and Faith-based Organisations, religious leaders, members of local and international organisations, groups and individuals for “defending the truth”.