By Eddy Odivwri
I hear that Mr Short Fuse has swallowed his pride and apologized for his unwarranted vituperation and outpour of invectives on an innocent professional.
You have come again, who is Mr Short Fuse?
Don’t you know Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the one they call FFK? A one time Minister of Aviation who literally poured verbal acid on a Daily Trust Reporter, for asking an innocuous question?
Oh, I read about the raw encounter and watched the video. I also read his statement, last Tuesday that said he stands by his views on the said reporter, wherein he described the reporter, Eyo Charles as being “stupid”, “very stupid” and having “small mind”.
Don’t mind him. He has recanted in a tweet last Wednesday. He has finally seen the stupidity in his needless outburst where he betrayed and declared that he has short fuse.
He said in his apology that he respects journalists and that he has been defending journalists for over 30 years, apart from having fought vigorously for Freedom of Information Law and also suffered prosecution for the advancement of democracy.
I do not know when he fought for and defended journalists. He is merely making an empty claim. The arrests he faced were for his own misdemeanor, not in the furtherance of democracy. He has a history of intolerance with journalists who do not do his bidding.
Not a few knew he would soon swallow his vomit, not only because he was clearly beside himself when he was vaunting about his political and professional pedigree, but also because he has a long history of verbal harlotry. He is a confirmed priest of double speak, and controversy personified. Do you realise he asked many times: “who do you think you are talking to?”, like somebody in search of identity,
What was even the offensive question that caused the two wires in him to touch?
The poor correspondent asked him who was bankrolling his tour of PDP-controlled states.
Is that all? Couldn’t he have simply answered and said nobody is bankrolling him? That it is a self-funded tour? Wouldn’t that have solved all the stupid brouhaha that followed?
But talking seriously, who sent FFK message? What is he looking for going round the country visiting PDP-controlled states? What is he up to? What plan is he hatching?
I don’t understand. On what basis or platform is he undertaking this tour? Is it a project? What is the essence? Indeed, who is behind this initiative?
Don’t ask more ‘stupid’ questions! Don’t you know the young chief has been in politics since 1990 even though he has never contested any known election? He has implied the initiative is his and it is self-funded because he said” I spend, I don’t take and I am not a poor man, I have never been and will never be.”
So, what does Femi Fani-Kayode really do for a living and how does he earn money if not hanging around government and its operators? Have you seen him in court one day as a lawyer? What business does he do that gives him money apart from living off this late father’s estate? Is it not a legitimate question for a public servant or a former public servant?
I am sure you deserve double portion of the lambaste Eyo Charles got. Why are you shaking the table this violently?
A journalist has the right to ask any type of question in any circumstance. It could even be deliberately provocative to draw the interviewee out. And as it has shown in this case, it has shown that Fani-Kayode is a short-fused and pesky politician, not fit to be a leader., since he lacks tact and self control.
All he wanted to do was to intimidate the reporter and get him cowed. He succeeded as they kept telling him “sorry sir, sorry sir” most needlessly. What were they sorry for? For asking a question? I expected the other reporters to boycott the press conference at the rain of tirade on one of their colleagues. But they sat back drinking from the pernicious chalice of Fani-Kayode.
And what an irony that his so-called career in politics draws largely from being a political commentator wherein his stock in trade is to abuse and criticize those in power. And here he is: unable to brood the smallest form of probe, not even an abuse, as his forte is.
Are you implying that the former minister has a sinister motive on this tour of the country?
You said so. All I have said is that I don’t know the intent and the motivation.
He is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He is well entitled to undertake the tour of the states controlled by his party. You never can tell what his findings will be at the end and how it can be used to assist the party in the 2023 elections.
This is not in doubt, but let him come clean in his mission. That’s all we ask.
But are you really sure Mr Eyo Charles was not actually sent by some political demagogues to embarrass the Ife Chief?
I am surprised at your question. Are you implying that the journalist was asking the questions of certain sponsors? Come on, give credit to journalists. Don’t look down on them. Are you saying it is beyond a journalist to enquire into the funding of the opaque tour? Do you know the financial implication of going round the country? Whether he apologises or not, to have declared that, “I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that,” Mr Fani-Kayode betrayed how little he thinks of journalists. Yet it is that scant regard that is now giving him sleepless nights. He will surely have this incident stand as a sentinel at the door of his aspiration.
He has apologized. Let’s move on. Move on we shall, but go tell him to lengthen his fuse henceforth or remain in his house.