A former Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Femi Fani-Kayode, has apologised for referring to a Daily Trust journalist, Eyo Charles, as “stupid”.
SaharaReporters had on Tuesday reported how Fani-Kayode insulted Charles for asking him if his recent trips across the country were being sponsored during a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers State.
“I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that,” the former minister yelled at the reporter.
But in a series of tweets on Wednesday, Fani-Kayode said he regretted his action, which had made him offend many of his friends in the media.
He said, “I met with my advisors and I wish to say the following. I hereby withdraw the word “stupid” which I used in my encounter with a journalist in Calabar. I have many friends in the media who I offended by losing my cool and using such words. I hereby express my regrets for doing so.
“I do however wish to state categorically that no threat of physical harm was ever made to the journalist in question and neither did I send anyone to threaten him. Anyone that says otherwise is lying and I challenge them to bring the proof.
“I would never seek to physically harm a journalist. For the last 30 years, I have defended and worked with journalists and fought for the right of freedom of expression. I am also very close to many in that profession.
“I would be the last to seek to disparage those that are honourable and noble within its ranks. I hope that this will assuage the pain and anger of anyone that was hurt or offended by this ugly episode. I have now put this matter behind me and moved on."