For verbally attacking a journalist at a recent press conference, former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK), has been asked to tender a public apology.
A video has been trending on social media showing the former spokesman to former President Olusegun Obasanjo harassing a reporter with Daily Trust.
In the visuals, Mr Fani-Kayode, who recently threatened to leave the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was furious about a question asked by the journo about someone bankrolling him.
The former Minister white-washed the pen-pusher, saying he was asking “a stupid question” and warned him never “in your life” ask me such a question.
“What type of stupid question is that?” the former Minister, who is a critic of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, asked.
“Do you know who you are talking to? What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll, to do what, who can give me money to anything?” he barked further.
“I could see from your face when you got here how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that. You have a small mind. Don’t judge me by your own standard, I’ve been in politics since 1990. I have been locked up many times by this government.
“I spend, I don’t take and I am not a poor man, I have never been and will never be.
“If anybody sent you to ask that question and gave you brown envelop, go and tell them you got more than you bargained for. Very rude, it is not the standard of Daily Trust at all and I will report you to your publisher, Mr Fani-Kayode said and stormed out of the room.
Reacting to the video of Mr Fani-Kayode’s outburst, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said it was wrong for the former Minister to address the journalist the way he did.
“We condemn reported intimidation, harassment and attack on Daily Trust journalist by a former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode.
“Mr Fani-Kayode should publicly apologize to the journalist. No one should ever call any journalist stupid simply for doing their job.
“Journalistic freedom also covers possible recourse to a degree of exaggeration, or even provocation. The media has a vital role to play as a public watchdog in imparting information of serious public concern and should not be inhibited or intimidated from playing that role,” the group said.