Femi Fani-Kayode

A former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, has appeared in a viral video where he insulted a journalist that he’s a Nigerian elite who cannot take a quarter of what they do to others. As a matter of that, that was the least I expected from a person like him.

On different occasions, he had criticized harshly the Buhari-led administration. Three months ago, he said Buhari had come to kill, steal and destroy. This was a time the country was relentlessly fighting Boko Haram and other defiant sects that have been kneeling on Nigeria’s neck for some years now. However, despite how heavy his imputations were, the president didn’t insult or manhunt him.

The Daily Trust Reporter, Eyo Charles, had asked Mr Fani-Kayode a very simple and direct question at a press briefing in Cross River State. Charles must’ve been expecting a succinct answer in return but instead, the former minister went the way of hubris. He hurled insults at him as if it was more than the question he asked: “Who is bankrolling your tour?”.

Fani-Kayode railed: “Do you know who you are talking to? What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll, to do what? Who can give me money for anything? Who do you think you are talking to? Go and report yourself to your publisher. I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are? Don’t ever talk to me like that. Who do you think you’re talking to? Bankroll who? You think I am one of those ones you… from who, when, how? You have a small mind, very small mind….”.

While Fani-Kayode was barking, Charles and other reporters on ground were begging him as if the question he asked was out of context. I guess that was what made him continue reeling out the unproductive history of when he started politics. What’s bad in asking a politician who wasn’t in power, who is bankrolling his tours to the PDP states he visited for inspection? Absolutely nothing. The pride in him couldn’t let him see beyond.

Had it been all the reporters walked out while he was assaulting Mr Eyo, next time, he would learn how to control his anger and deflate his hubris when similar thing happens in the future. But now, he will not know the worth of what he did. That brings me to the issue of brown envelope.

Undoubtedly, journalism is a beautiful profession with an unmatched ethics. If I’m correct, it abhors the collection of brown envelope from news sources. Nigerian journalists should embrace this virtuous ethics as it will help shut Fani-Kayode’s ilk in the future.

Aremu Lukman Umor, Lagos