By Adakole Elijah
A lot had been said or written about the ignoble encounter between the self appropriated rich man, FKK and the poor Journalist. To some, the journalist was rude in his question. To others, the reporter ought to have reply fire for fire. But for me, the reporter acted nobly and with maturity.
First, those who said that the reporter was rude in his question does not know what Journalism is all about. Journalism unearth what is hidden by bringing it to the fore of the public. This could be done via journalistic interrogation called interview. Questions and answers are part of this interrogative process.
No matter how silly a question is, the interviewee is under obligation to answer or not to answer. Either way, the reporter has something to report.
FKK therefore has the right to answer or not to answer and he would have satisfied the curiosity of the Reporter and the general public.
In view of the above, I want to state clearly in my opinion that the Journalist acted well. There was no need exchanging words or tantrum with FKK. After all, he had gotten the answer. FKK had succeeded in ridiculing himself the more even though people hardly perceive him with the lens of positivity. He is seen more as a man without integrity. He is seen as a man who is morally bankrupt.
There is no smoke without fire. The reaction suggested that he was indeed being bankrolled by somebody. And he doesn’t want people to know. And fearing that the Journalist was going to let the cat out of the bag, he took advantage of his possession of the mic to shot the hapless reporter down.
I was once faced with similar circumstances. It was the twilight to the exit of military interregnum in this country. It was a hillarious episode. I still remember it with nostalgic feeling.
Sometimes in 1999, I and Chief Ignatius Chukwu then of the Post Express were invited to interview late Graham Douglas, former Minister of Sports, who was on a nation wide tour in pursuit of his presidential ambition. I was a reporter with The Comet newspaper then.
We met him at the PDP Secretariat in Makurdi. He first went into a close door meeting with the Executive Committee of the People’s Democratic party. After interfacing with the party Leadership, he came to meet us in Mrs Rebecca Apedzan’s office. She was the Secretary of the party in the state then.
When we started, I asked him a very harmless question as follows “Sir, what do you have in stock for the people of Benue State if you clinch the presidency? This question that was indeed a bait was swiftly responded to by the presidential aspirant.
Graham – Douglas quickly enumerated all his plans for Benue State and added a tonic by saying that as a southern minority, he was conversant with the problems of northern minorities since according to him the bigger tribes in the country were deliberately subjugating and oppressing the minorities. He cited the case of the golden geeze that laid the golden eggs but its offsprings were never allowed to participate in either the eating or sharing.
Ignatius Chukwu on hearing this pointedly asked him to comment on the allegation that those of them especially the elites from the Niger Delta Region has been that each time they complained about the neglect of the Niger Delta, they were always doing so for altruistic reason because when the Federal Government listened to their cries and sent in measures that could evenly develop the area, they will wack the money to the detriment of development of the place.
At this point, instead of Douglas responding to the question, he instantaneously lost his calm and start raining insults on us by saying, “you are a fool. You are stupid. You are a goat. You are an idiot etc”.
We kept our cool and was busy jotting down his abusive words. We were equally engrossed in recording him. When he realized that we were unperturbed by his insolence, and as if stung by a scorpion, he halted himself all of a sudden and retorted, “Stop it. what are you people doing? Writing what I was gushing out! Recording me? No. Don’t. Stop it”.
And that ends the interview. He knows that we were going to take him to the cleaner. He later apologised alongside the state secretary of the party. We let it go.
The reporter did what was correct. He stirred the honest next. FKK unveiled his true colours because he had the mic. The reporter kept calm because he had his pen. And the pen is mightier than the mic. And The reporter won. FKK lost full time.
He who laugh last, laughs Best.
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