Project Tour: ‘Question was rude’ – FFK Defends Self as Daily Trust Takes Stand

Femi Fani Kayode has called a journalist rude after the journalist identified as Charles Eyo asked who was bankrolling his State project inspection.

This happened at a press conference in Calabar, Cross River State on Tuesday morning during his tour in the State.

FFK berated the Daily Trust journalist identified as Charles while other journalists apologized for what they termed ‘unruly behaviour’ from their colleague.

In his statement, FFK stated that the said question was not a question but an assertion as he clearly stated that he ‘had always had respect for journalists & always will.’

He wrote, “At a press conference held in Calabar, Cross River

During my tour of the South and after a long and successful press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers state, a journalist put up his hand for the last question and said,

“Well, we do not know who is bankrolling you”.

This is not a question but an assertion and an insult. And if this insulting ASSERTION were made before Trump or OBJ I know how they would have reacted. Above is my response & I have no apology to offer for it. The young man apologised to me during the press conference & sent his apologies to me after the conference. I have accepted his apologies & moved on. I have always had respect for journalists & always will. Those of them that know me or worked with or for me over the last 30 years can attest to that. However, there is a distinction between asking a question & offering an insult.

This is all the more so when it is clear that the assertion was sponsored and engineered by my political enemies who wanted to use the young man to insult and embarrass me and question my integrity. Well, they got more than they bargained for. I repeat this was not a question but an assertion and a gratuitous insult and I will not accept that from any man born of woman. Thank you.”

Meanwhile, Daily Trust released a statement stating that its journalist were all professionals in their job and will stand by them as they uphold the ethics of journalism.

“We urge the Nigeria Police to take note, that if anything happens to Charles, Daily Trust will hold Fani-Kayode responsible, especially due to the intensity of the verbal threats he issued during the shocking incident.

The actions of Fani-Kayode are not only reprehensible but also constitute a setback to press freedom, in the direst form. This kind of assault raises major concerns over the safety of journalists in Nigeria.”

In acknowledging Daily Trust report, FFK wrote, “Permit me to add the following. I have taken note of the report by Daily Trust on the incident. The content is false. I didn’t send any of my security men to threaten their reporter. I only reprimanded him for a premeditated plan to embarrass me & he apologised thereafter. That was all.”

“This is not a battle between me and the esteemed Nigerian journalists who respect the ethics of the noble profession. I have always been and will always be a friend to journalists and a champion of freedom of speech. What I will not accept are brazen insults from an individual in the name of journalism. The assertion or assumption that I am being bankrolled by anyone is deeply insulting. Finally to the NUJ I say u have got me completely wrong. It would have been better if you had heard my own side of the story and established who was behind this whole incident and attempt to embarrass me, who paid for it and how much they paid before going to press. Nevertheless, I still hold you in high esteem.”

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