Youths For Change NG, an umbrella group of Nigerian youths, has
advised the media to stop giving undue attention to a former Aviation
Minister, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, whose ranting and increasingly
unsubstantiated allegations are becoming an embarrassment,
particularly to the youths who had seen him a role model.
The group’s National Leader, Mr. Seun Bobade, said in a statement
issued in Lagos on Thursday that 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 its airs 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
”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.
Youths For Change NG said it is 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
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.
It also slammed the former Minister for continuing to employ very
crude and abusive language, sometimes bothering on hate speech, in
public discourse, saying the government should not hesitate to rein
him in if he continues along that path.
”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,” Youth For
Change NG said.