FFK vs journalist: You cannot escape a bully like Fani-Kayode with ‘Sorry Sir’

FFK vs journalist: You cannot escape a bully like Fani-Kayode with ‘Sorry Sir’

<p class=""><em>Most of us have watched the recent shameful display by Femi Fani-Kayode. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) politician disparaged Eyo Charles of Daily Trust newspaper for asking a question he was uncomfortable with. </em></p>

<h1>As a Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Olusegun Obasanjo, two-time Minister of the Federal Republic, a writer and lawyer, Fani-Kayode should know better. However, the politician in him realised that no one would challenge his bad behaviour – definitely not the poor subject of his diatribe. </h1>

<p class="">That was why he went all out to deliver unrestrained disrespect to his hosts, himself, the journalists present and the entire nation. </p>

<p class="">Sadly, the <a href="https://www.pulse.ng/news/politics/fani-kayode-you-are-very-stupid-ex-minister-tears-into-journalist-during-press/dfbbd1e" id="9d044cc5-d6f9-4d69-94ad-7ccf26f0b354">Daily Trust journalist sat through the assault</a>, sulking silently. He allowed a man like <strong>Fani-Kayode</strong>, with a public history of uncivil acts lascivious, lifestyle berate him. His paper, Daily Trust, also painted his humiliation as being ‘calm’. We all know that is not calmness. That is timidity. That was lost of worth. </p>

<p class="">That was a display of inferiority complex. That was an assault of his dignity and pride. <strong>Eyo </strong>desecrated the dignity of our journalism profession by standing like a thief before Femi Fani-Kayode and uttering ‘Yes Sir, Yes Sir’. A real professional would have insisted on getting an answer to his question and given his attacker equal measure, all else be damned.</p>

<p class=""><strong>ALSO READ</strong>: <a href="https://www.pulse.ng/news/politics/fani-kayode-didnt-just-lose-his-mind-he-never-had-one-pulse-editors-opinion/91q38bb" id="7918a91b-5050-4608-b25f-cc4941b5e9f3">Fani-Kayode didn’t just lose his mind, he never had one [Pulse Editor’s Opinion]</a></p>

<p class="">Even more shameful was the sheepish display of fellow journalists who sat in witness of the debauchery of their own and did nothing. This is what you get when you practice journalism of brown-envelope. </p>

<p class="">How would they not sit-in silently when they survive on daily crumbs that come from the newsmakers? Of course, nobody will respect you when you are reduced to pen beggars. It pains me that our noble and dignified profession of journalism suffers so much disrespect in this part of the world. </p>

<p class="">What Eyo and his shockingly spineless peers do not know is that you cannot escape bullying by turning the other cheek. Bullies, as demonstrated by Fani-Kayode, do not back off because you succumb once or twice. They torment the ones that cower more than those that fight back. I know this because I used to be a victim of bullies when I was students’ president at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria over a decade ago. </p>

<p class="">At the time, some opportunists who felt they knew more about unionism bullied me endlessly. Whenever they came with offensive confrontations, I would act ignorant and let them enjoy their needless affronts, even though I sulked inwardly. </p>

<p class="">One day I snapped during one of our congresses after they harangued me, surprisingly, for refusing to stay in a hotel while on an official trip in order to save the association from needless expenses, rather than applauded me for prudent management of resources. The ensuing confrontation was violent, but it ended the reign of bullies in the faculty’s politics. This is what Eyo should have done to Fani-Kayode.</p>

<p class=""><strong>ALSO READ</strong>: L<a href="https://www.pulse.ng/news/local/letter-to-femi-fani-kayode-the-nigerian-politician-with-a-short-fuse/1phpf32" id="ce3e3976-ebf5-4669-9cb6-d6f26d629084">etter to Femi Fani-Kayode, the Nigerian politician with a short fuse</a></p>

<p class="">In life, occasionally, you must rise up to prejudice. You must tackle bullies to the ground. You must shut those who echoes mischief. You must refuse to give the second cheek when slapped – learn to slap back sometimes. Eyo lost a big chance to do so.</p>

<p class="">As long as journalists continue to let brown envelopes determined their actions, they will continue to be derided and treated like <em>agberos</em>. They must sit up and demand respect. It starts from the small things like asking journalists to stand at press conferences while the organizers occupy seats in comfort. </p>

<p class="">When organisations budget, they assign nothing for communications. When we form board committees, you will not find media representations. When corporates hold workshops, they lodge themselves in choice hotels and invite the media with promises of enveloped disrespect. These are the issues the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) ought to fight and not tackling the government needlessly. </p>

<p class="">Conclusively, I wish to advise Nigerians to avoid being deceived into thinking that Fani-Kayode’s ‘holy’ anger and venom evidence his contempt for our corrupt systems. No. He was part of its makings. More so, a Lawyer and politician of his calibre ought to have greater emotional intelligence. </p>

<p class="">His anger is, therefore, laughable and astonishing; especially as he is one of the architects of the system he pretends to detest. Above all, he lacks the moral uprightness to talk down on Eyo from such a high horse. Eyo, the journalists present at the conference, the NUJ, and all of us should have de-saddled him.</p>

<p class=""><strong><em>About the author: Abdullahi Ojoanyonu HARUNA is a public affairs analyst, public relations strategist, and media entrepreneur. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communication and a Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and an Industrial Leadership certificate from the Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a member of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, the Managing Editor of the APC Progressives Magazine and member of the World Bank Youth Forum.'</em></strong></p>



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