A youth group, Youths For Change, an umbrella group of Nigerian youths, has called described the Nigeria’s former Aviation minister, Femi Fani Kayode as a bunch of disgrace to the nation’s youth, from the way he speaks carelessly about the leadership of the country.
The youth group said that Fani Kayode’s ranting and increasingly unsubstantiated allegations are becoming an embarrassment, particularly to the youths who had seen him as a role model.
The group’s National Leader, Seun Bobade, in a statement in Lagos today, Thursday, called on the Nigerian media community to stop giving undue attention to Fani-Kayode, adding that the media should not allow itself to be used as a tool to run down anybody or community.
Bobade said the media should have asked the former Minister to substantiate the allegation he made in his latest tweet, accusing the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) of threatening to shut down a TV station if it aired his interview.
”The media must hold Mr. Fani-Kayode to a higher standard. They should not just regurgitate his baseless and malicious allegations without asking him to substantiate such. After all, it’s trite-law that he who alleges must prove.
”The former Minister should have been asked to provide incontrovertible evidence of the allegation he made, including to identify the television station by name, as well as naming the particular fellow at the TV station who was threatened over his interview.
”We say this because previous allegations by Mr. Fani-Kayode in the past have proved to be a mere hoax. For example, on July 13th 2017, he told the Punch newspaper that the President was on life support, that he could not even recognize anyone and that he would never come back to the country as President. One would have expected that when the President eventually returned healthy, Mr. Fani-Kayode would be challenged. Instead, the media has indulged him by publishing another unsubstantiated allegation from him, which he must have designed to cover his earlier statement,” the group said.
The youth group added that it was inconceivable that Alhaji Mohammed, Mr. Adesina and the NBC will be threatening any station over an interview with an opposition politician, because this will run counter to the Buhari Administration’s stated commitment to freedom of expression.
The group advised the Minister of Information and Culture as well as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity not to lend any credence to Mr. Fani-Kayode by responding to his claim which, it said, amounts to someone’s imagination running wild.
”On June 4th 2017, we had a reason to issue a statement warning Mr. Fani-Kayode to stop his penchant for resorting to the use of base and abusive language in public discourse, saying such behaviour has no place in the Nigeria of our dreams.
”Obviously, Mr. Fani-Kayode, a husband, a father of grown up children and a supposedly-responsible political leader, has not changed his ways, going by the incredibly disparaging adjectives he employed against the government in his latest tweets. We have therefore taken it upon ourselves to take on him every time he exhibits such disgraceful and unedifying traits. Enough is enough!
”We the youths want a country in which government and opposition figures engage in public discourse in an atmosphere devoid of personal insults, acrimony and sheer hatred. Mr. Fani-Kayode and his like are not showing us the path to that country of our dreams.”