IgbereTV, a leading online news portal has withdrawn the nomination extended to Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation in Nigeria over verbal assault on a Daily Trust journalist in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
The decision, according to the publisher, Emeh James Anyalekwah, was informed by the unwarranted verbal attack on Mr. Charles Eyo, the Daily Trust reporter by Fani-Kayode, the video of which has been trending on social media over the past one week.
The award is IgbereTV’s 2020 edition of the yearly IgbereTV leadership excellence awards. According to the publisher and editor in chief, Fani-Kayode was nominated in the social media personality of the year by Nigerians at the ongoing nomination exercise. The award ceremony, the publisher said, is expected to hold in December 2020.
Fani-Kayode is among other prominent Nigerians nominated for the awards by Nigerians. Others are Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Big Brother Naija’s host; Toke Makinwa, Radio personality; and Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani.
But in a statement on issued in Abuja, IgbereTV’s executive director said the awards cannot identify with a ‘press oppressor’ hence the decision to withdraw Kayode’s nomination.
He argued that the award promotes outstanding leaders and personalities whose impacts have been felt in Nigeria’s political, social and economic spheres – and that Kayode’s action makes him ineligible for the honours.
Meanwhile, a Northern group, The Sha’aya’u S-Pawa Foundation, in Zamfara state, is putting finishing touch to plans to present an award of Resilient Journalist to Charles Eyo, the Daily Trust journalist who was assaulted by Femi Fani Kayode.
The statement indicating the award was signed by chairman of the foundation, Alhaji Sha’aya Sarkin Fawa in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital. The group hinged its recognition of Eyo his maturity in handling Fani-Kayode’s accusation during the verbal assault.
The group also said that “Fani-Kayode had earlier visited the Zamfara and left on its tray some controversies that are still fresh in the memory of the people.
“The good journalist posture displayed by Charles gives more hope and belief to Nigerians that we still have good media professionals in the country. The group said it will organise a befitting award ceremony for him.