By Tunde Asaju
As a journalist, I am simply outraged; first to read the views of my chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche and later to see the clip of my dear sister, Ruona J. Meyer on events in Calabar. It’s still early in Ottawa and I need to take it easy today so that I don’t transfer my aggression on others (including members of my own family). But I am totally miffed!
I mean, this is an assault on journalism. Journalism is a noble profession. A profession that have rules. A profession that is practiced by the best of the world – yes (subtract me). Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister is a journalist! The founding fathers of Nigeria – Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe were journalists!
I am disturbed and totally angry that a rabble rouser, a lickspittle, an abysmally corrupt, inept and uncouth Femi Fani-Kayode would insult a journalist the way he just did and get away with it. I am totally angry that this idiot of no compare would exhibit his madness on a halpless journalist who was only holding him accountable to the ideals he wants to be credited with, but which he lacks both in character and comportment.
But above all, I am totally disturbed, that colleagues who were present did not see this as assault on their profession, on their own integrity and on their noble profession – they were nodding heads and apologizing like agama lizards that they all are.
I am disturbed that a tv station even uploaded it with a caption that FFK reacts to a rude journalist! I am shocked that this is happening in 2020. I mean, Donald Trump has done worse to journalists, but he has also received worse. No journalist worth his calling and training should be insulted like that by a fraud! FFK is a fraud! I say so!
I think the NUJ should not let this lie low. If it does, it would have created a precedent and who knows what happens next. Maybe he would assault a journalist because he is a lawyer…there are lawyers in our profession too. Chuks Ohuegbe is a lawyer, Shareef Mohammed is a lawyer, Mohammed Adamu is a lawyer and there are many more. Sir Richard Akinola II is a respectable lawyer with a veritable source of income and a mileage of philanthropy that Fani Kayode would never reach in seven lifetimes, he is a journalist. Need I mention more?
Fani Kayode has no known job. He has never been known to have won a single case anywhere in life. His record of mental health issues is well known. Here is a man who has no decency or decorum. Here is a man who attacks everything that moves. Here is a man who kisses and tells…that is the lowest of the low. Here is a man who is hiding under judicial privileges to escape justice for corruption. Which of the journalists he denigrates carries this plethora or evil resume? None!
Yes, maybe people collect brown envelopes. But if there are no givers, there would be no takers? What are those giving brown envelopes trying to hide? That is also an issue, not that I support inducing journalists.
I am interested in what happened after this press conference. I’ll be monitoring how his threat to report the journalist to Daily Trust would be resolved. I am waiting for the official reaction of the Daily Trust Management to this assault on their reporter. A news organization is as good as how it allows idiots treat its reporters.
Fani Kayode must be told in no unclear terms that he has no integrity to protect. He should go and clear his case before the courts with evidence. If he was picked up and detained, it would not have been for telling truth to power – it would have been for hate speech that he spews out daily; and it must have been for his shameful record in public office. FFK has no integrity to protect. We are all witnesses to his record in service, his dodgy lifestyle.
No journalist should endure insult from anyone. If you ask a question, you want answers. If people are not ready to give answers, they are free to walk away, but assault and insults does NOT come with the profession. No colleague must stand by and watch his comrade denigrated the way FFK has done to the Daily Trust reporter.
NUJ must investigate this. What happened before the question? What happened after the press conference and if people are known to (as would probably be) have egged on this demented idiot in his tirade just because of the brown envelope that comes after the deal, then, something must be done.
We must save journalism from charlatans and from political jobbers who want to hide under one finger. This assault on my profession by people of doubtful character MUST STOP.
-Tunde Asaju, multi-linguist journalist, writer and social critic writes from Ottawa, Canada