The Daily Trust newspaper reporter, Eyo Charles, has narrated his encounter with a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The reporter was humiliated by the ex-minister during a recent interview session after his tour of some States in the South.
The reporter, who disclosed that he is a member of the religious organisation, the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, also known as Olumba Olumba Obu (O.O. Obu) narrated his side of the story in a lengthy statement he released yesterday.
Recall that the video went viral showing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP chieftain raining abuses on the journalist for asking “Sir, please you did not disclose to us who is bankrolling you…?”
He said when it was time for questions, the former minister said, “There is no problem at all. They should ask any manners of questions,” that he is equal to the task, when the moderator requested that journalists limit their questions to the ex-minister’s speech.
According to the reporter, other journalists asked many questions, and “Now the question that would break the camel’s back! When I was recognised, I asked, ‘Sir, please you did not disclose to us who is bankrolling you….’ FFK did not allow me to land with the question when he threw caution to the wind and shouted at me, and said the press briefing was over.
“He then rained terrible abuses on me, calling me unprintable names; that I was sponsored to come and ask and insult him,” Charles said.
He added, “It took the intervention and pleas from the chief press secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr Christian Ita and other journalists before the ex-minister would leave the Daily Trust reporter, saying ‘You can go ahead and write your rubbish. I have marked you.’”
According to the reporter, when Fani-Kayode returned to his suite, the PDP chieftain sent one of his security aides to further threaten him, and the man “accosted me, saying ‘what effrontery do you have to ask such a stupid question?’ and what was my next action.
“Sensing how tense the atmosphere was, I said to the man, “I had apologised to the ex-minister. If the usage of the word ‘bankroll’ was offensive to him, then I withdraw it. What more should I do?” I then sneaked away.”
“Now the ex-minister is circulating a doctored video claiming I was rude to him. What could be farther from the truth? I have a modest background and well trained as a high priest to respect people of all standing.
“Please note too that I am a Bishop in the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, which exalted stand can never allow me to descend to insulting public figures or anyone.”