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APC NewsOnline Condemns Former Minister’s Verbal Assault On Journalist

The APC NewsOnline condemns the verbal assault inflicted on a Journalist by a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode.
The journalist, Eyo Charles, who reports for the Daily Trust Newspaper, was seen in a video posted by The Cable, an online newspaper. asking the former Minister at a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, if he was funded to embark on a tour of projects in the state to which he responded with verbal attacks.
The Minister who is often available to media favorable to his viewpoint could not hold his calm when the journalist Eyo Charles went outside his expectation to ask him who was backrolling him for the project tour but uncontrollable flare up like a mad dog and rain unprintable insults on the journalist,  threatened to deal with Journalist Eyo Charles, who also claimed that a security detail in the entourage of the former Minister confronted him after the press conference.
APC NewsOnline sees this development as repulsive and unacceptable since there was nothing wrong with Journalist Eyo Charles wanting to know if the tour was an independent initiative or a sponsored one.
“The former Minister had the option of not answering the question and the abuses were totally out of place in the context of the event”,
APC NewsOnline, therefore, demands that the former Minister must as a matter of urgency tender official apology to NUJ, Daily trust, and the journalist involved and give assurance of his safety in view of the alleged threats.
And that FFK should be mindful of his public conduct and utterances, particularly where journalists are involved. Journalists are saddled with the constitutional obligation of monitoring governance and holding the government accountable to the people and therefore should not be subjected to any harassment in the course of duty.
No journalist should cover the activities of FFK henceforth to serve as a deterrent to other tyrants.
Also, public holders should prepare to be transparent, accountable, and responsible for what they do since their activities may be brought to the attention of the public at any time by the media. In fact, corruption, transparency, and accountability, which have been challenges and issues of concern while the public sector strives to achieve good governance, are the focus of the media at all times.
The media perform the monitoring duty as a mirror of society and have been playing an important role in educating the people about the Information Act and good governance. The news and investigative reports on state performances require insightful information that might have been branded in the past by officials as “confidential”. Whether such classification of information was correct had rarely been questioned in the past.
So the attitude and incivility displayed by a supposed high profile personality like a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria towards a harmless journalist who was only carrying out his constitutional duty are not just unethical but unpatriotic capable of jeopardizing the media profession.
-Otobong Akpakpan
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