The Akwa Ibom state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has directed its members to boycott the press conference planned for Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of aviation. In a statement releases this morning, Friday the 28th of August 2020, the chapter asked journalists not to attend any activity organised by the former minister.
Femi Fani-Kayode announced had earlier announced his arrival in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital, on Thursday. This came days after Fani-Kayode insulted a journalist for asking him a very simple question, in what he in his usual silly ego described as a “stupid question” at a press conference after his tour of Cross River state.
The former minister began a tour of some selected states days ago, especially those controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) states in July, visited Cross River last week.
At a press conference in Calabar, Cross River state capital, Eyo Charles, a journalist with Daily Trust, had asked a question about who was bankrolling Fani-Kayode’s trip.
The former minister felt offended by the question and went ahead to insult the journalist, referring to him as “very stupid”. “I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that. Who do you think you’re talking to. Bankroll who? You think I am one of those ones you… from who, when, how? You have a small mind, a very small mind. Don’t judge me by your own standards,” he had said.
His comments had generated widespread criticism from many Nigerians and groups, including the NUJ which described him as “intolerant and unstable”. Chris Isiguzo, NUJ president, had said it is disappointing that Fani-Kayode, who holds leaders to account, is the same person attacking a journalist for doing his job. “By denigrating the journalist, Fani Kayode has exposed himself the more as an intolerant and unstable person who will not want his activities closely scrutinised by the media,” he had said via a statement. The former minister later regretted his use of the word, “stupid,” and apologised to his “friends in the media”.