A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has apologized for referring to a Daily Trust reporter, Eyo Charles, as “stupid” during a press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers state.
The former minister tendered his apology in a statement released on Wednesday.
He said, “I met with my advisors till late last night 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.”
The former minister, however, denied allegations that he was threatening to harm the Daily Trust reporter.
“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,” he said.
Fani-Kayode said he remained a friend of the media and would be the last to seek to disparage those that are honourable and noble within its ranks.
In a viral video, Fani-Kayode was seen repeatedly calling the reporter ‘stupid’ for asking him a ‘stupid question’, one which have since attracted heavy criticism both online and off the social media space.
The journalist was said to have asked Fani-Kayode who bankrolled his recent tour of several southern states.