by Juliana K. Tauna, Kaduna
The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the verbal assault inflicted on a journalist by a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode.
The journalist, Eyo Charles, who reports for Daily Trust Newspaper, was seen in a video posted by The Cable, an online newspaper, asking the former minister at a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria, if he was funded to embark on a tour of projects in the state, to which he responded with verbal attacks.
This was contained in a statement signed by Communications Officer for International Press Centre, Mr. Olutoyin Ayoade, which stated that the minster was also seen threatening to “deal with” journalist Eyo Charles, who has since claimed that a security detail in the entourage of the former minister confronted him after the press conference.
According to the statement, “IPC views the development as repulsive and unacceptable, since there was nothing wrong with journalist, Mr. Charles, wanting to know, if the tour was an independent initiative or a sponsored one.
“The former minister had the option of not answering the question, and the abuses were totally out of place in the context of the event,” it noted.
IPC in the statement demands that the former minister should apologize to the journalist and give an assurance of his safety in view of the alleged further threats.
It further urged that journalists, who are saddled with the constitutional obligation of monitoring governance and holding the government accountable to the people, should not be subjected to harassment in the course of duty.