Nigeria’s foremost media rights group, The Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) in a statement signed by its Executive Director Adewale Adeoye on Wednesday said the reporter’s question was legitimate and that the fury with which Mr Fani Kayode responded has further raised suspicion on who actually was funding his trip to the states.
JODER said Fani Kayode attitude was not only an attack on the The Daily Trust reporter, but a savage onslaught on the Nigerian media and a most irresponsible attack on free speech.
“Nigerians want to know who funds Mr Femi Fani Kayode’s trip to launder images of state Governors. How much? Who pays the bills? The legitimate questions remain. Neither fury, anger nor threats can envelop this legitimate demand,” JODER said
The group said Mr Femi Fani Kayode who is known for employing the most vicious language on any government that he is not involved, has shown an inglorious trait of intolerance, nasty instinct, a spiteful culture and a shameful, revolting attitude to a request for transparency in an issue that involves public order.
“It is important for Nigerians to know who was funding the trips of Mr Fani Kayode. In any democratic country, the reporter’s question was legitimate. It is the right of Nigerians to know if the trips were being funded from the public purse, whether the funds being expended were drawn from the sweat of the people in those states,” JODER stated
Beyond the rage, Nigerians want to know who is funding his trip and how much it has cost Mr Fani Kayode to traverse the length and breadth of the country in his lone discovery project designed for no other reason than to launder the image of his hosts, JODER said.
Adeoye said the verbal violence of Fani Kayode in response to the reporter’s question was a conscious attempt to divert public attention from the main issue of who funds his trip and if he has collected funds from those states he has been visiting and how much has he collected.
“The former Minister does not run a charity. He is not the official image maker of the State Governors he has been visiting. He is not the Chief Press Secretary of those states. Nigerians are anxious to know what purpose his visits were designed to address and at what cost,” JODER said.
The media rights group said Fani Kayode’s outburst was a reflection of the character of a section of the Nigerian ruling class known for its contempt for any enquiry into how public offices are administered and would rather be contended with a country run through a cult tradition that is not subjected to public scrutiny.