The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, on Monday ordered the boycott of a purported press conference called by former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) in Ibadan in furtherance of his project inspection tours of PDP-controlled states.
Ademola Babalola, the state’s NUJ Chairman made the announcement during an Ibadan-based FM radio programme where he was asked to state the position of the Oyo NUJ Council to the purported secret and individualised invitations sent to some reporters to attend the press conference.
Responding, Babalola said: “It was about two hours ago that we learnt that FFK in his usual junketing across the nation allegedly landed in Ibadan last night. We heard that he has invited some of our colleagues to a press conference.
“As I am talking to you now, we have not gotten any circular, any contrary position from the NUJ in Abuja to henceforth forgive him or attend any of his programmes forthwith. As a journalist, I expect a kind of sober reflection on the part of FFK. I had expected that he would pay a visit to the NUJ President, Chris Iziguso, and possibly the management of Daily Trust Newspaper to atone for his many ‘sins’ against the journalists in the country.
“So, for now, Oyo NUJ position is still very clear that we are boycotting this press conference today in Ibadan,” Babalola said.
He stressed that the NUJ in the state was unaware that Fani-Kayode was in Ibadan, adding that we got information that he had been reaching out to some members in Ibadan.
“Officially, we are not aware of anything as we speak to you. Today, FFK remains blacklisted in the media industry in Nigeria until otherwise stated by the National Secretariat of our union in Abuja through a written document in the form of a memo, circular or statement to all State Councils.
“For now, NUJ has not sent circular down to various state councils in Nigeria to tell us the update, though we read in the social media and newspapers that he has sent apology letter. He had in the letter said he disappointed himself, friends and family over his attack on Eyo Charles. The reason for FFK’s ongoing tour is still strange to all.
“This is what our colleague, Charles, was trying to unravel in Cross River, when FFK attacked him. We wonder why he is travelling all about when he is not the PDP National Chairman or assigned such duty by the PDP,” Babalola said.
He noted that FFK had truly apologised over the attack, but people should be made to atone their sins now on earth, adding that: “As a human being, to err is human and to forgive is divine. I agree, but he should at least be more circumspect and allow the heat to go down.”
The NUJ Chairman said that any journalist who attended the programme did so at their own peril and not NUJ.
Akwa Ibom journalists equally boycotted FFK’s press conference last week.