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Femi-Fanikayode’s ‘stupid’ response BY Lekan Otufodunrin

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Femi Fani-Kayode

At the risk of belabouring the issue of the unwarranted outburst of the former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode during the recent press conference in Calabar over the simple question of who was bankrolling his curious tour and inspection of projects in People’s Democratic Party (PDP) controlled states, I wish to add my voice to others that have condemned his action.

I have no problem with Fani-Kayode not being happy with the question he was asked, but for him to subject the journalist who asked the logical question after the briefing, to the kind of verbal assault which he acknowledged was being recorded, is very unfortunate.

One would have thought that the self-acclaimed experienced politician would have matured over the years in responding to questions from intelligent journalists like the Daily Trust reporter who will not allow personalities to get away all kinds of claims with good follow-up questions, but we were expecting too much from him.

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Fani-Kayode proved he is still his needlessly easily provoked person who thinks he could talk the way he likes to people when he would not even tolerate such from others.

Watching the video that did not include the question he was asked, one would have wondered how the reporter asked the question to warrant such anger that included outright abuse and threats.

Not even the underserved apology he was offered could persuade him to realise the disgraceful show he was putting on despite his claim of being a VIP that should be taken seriously than he deserved.

The essence of holding a press conference is to brief journalists on an issue after which questions can be asked and clarifications sought.

So, when Fani-Kayode had his briefing, he should have envisaged that he will be asked relevant follow up questions. If for any reason he was not disposed to answering such question, he should have declined to answer instead of resorting to unjustifiably castigating the reporter.

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Better still, he could have directed his media team to issue a statement on his visit and avoid any physical encounter with journalists since he has short fuse that could go off like it did at the briefing.

Fani-Kayode should count himself lucky he met a reporter who was not interested in giving it back to him like he did. Another reporter would have called off his bluff and refused to be humiliated.

From other videos that have surfaced since the incident and reports of other encounters he has had with reporters, it’s apparent that Fani-Kayode enjoys having his ways and not being questioned on things he should be prepared to speak on.

He easily uses the word Stupid to describe questions he is uncomfortable with and the Calabar incident was yet another of those days, he likes to show the kind of persons he truly is.

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Even though he says he regrets the use of Stupid in Calabar, Fani-Kayode does not seem remorseful enough to appreciate why he should not have behaved the way he did considering the way he announced that he has moved on and was continuing his visit to the next state.

There was nothing rude about the question the reporter asked. He wanted clarification and instead of the ‘Project Inspector’ clearing the issue, he chose to divert attention from what is obvious.

Poor welfare of journalists that makes them be willing to attend any briefing in expectation of gratifications? Until media owners pay journalists well and promptly, enforcing ethics of the profession will remain a major problem. Kudos to the management of Daily Trust for standing by their reporter.

The other colleagues who watch the humiliation, refused to protest and even mocked the reporter? Shame on them.

The Nation





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