Fani-Kayode and Journalist, Eyo Charles
By Our Reporter
‘To err is human and to forgive is divine’ Those were the words of Daily Trust’s South-south reporter, Eyo Charles, who was recently insulted by the former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, for asking a question during a press conference in Cross River.
The journalist said he has forgiven Mr Fani-Kayode.
The reporter who likened the encounter to sacrificial suffering any Christian must face in life, also said Mr Fani-Kayode “is doing the work of God”.
The ex-minister, who is currently in Akwa Ibom, has over the past few weeks toured some states including Cross River, where Mr Charles is based and Zamfara, to ‘inspect’ some projects completed by the state governors.
He has been criticised by many Nigerians, who wonder what authority empowers him to embark on inspection tours which are usually carried out by state officials.
While in Cross River, the journalist had asked Fani-Kayode who was ‘bankrolling’ (sponsoring) his trips. An infuriated Fani-Kayode reacted with insults, including calling the reporter ‘stupid’.
Journalists were further shocked when the reporter apologised in the midst of the tirade and his colleagues did not intervene but rather condemned him for asking the question.
Many have criticized Fani Kayode for his outburst, they include the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Media Trust (publishers of Daily Trust) and civil society outfits condemned the action of the ex-minister.
Amnesty International also criticised the attack in a statement.
Although the former minister was initially defiant in a statement he released same day, saying he did not need to apologise, he later said he regretted the incident and apologised to the reporter.