The International Press Centre (IPC) has joined other media bodies to condemn the verbal assault inflicted on a Journalist by a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode.
Olutoyin Ayoade, Communications Officer of the International Press Centre in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday on behalf of the Executive Director, warned the journalist safety must be assured following threats from the former minister.
The statement read in part:
“The journalist, Eyo Charles, who reports for the 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.
“The Minister 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.
“IPC views this development as repulsive and unacceptable since there was nothing wrong with Journalist Eyo 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”, the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said.
The statement added:
“IPC therefore demands that the former Minister should apologise to the Journalist and give an assurance of his safety in view of the alleged further threats.
“IPC is of the view 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.”