Former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, who had come under heavy criticism for calling a journalist, Eyo Charles, “stupid” during a press conference in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, has apologized after meeting with his advisers.
Fani-Kayode was seen in a viral video yelling at the journalist who identified himself as Eyo Charles and calling him stupid, insisting that he has no apology for his response. According to Fani, the journalist’s question was “an assertion and insult”, saying he has been engineered by his political enemies who wanted to embarrass him.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, the former Aviation Minister said he met with his advisors till late last night and wishes to withdraw the word “stupid” which he used in his encounter with the journalist in Calabar.
Femi said: “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”
He noted that he would never seek to physically harm a journalist as he usually 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 honorable 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. Now my tour of the South continues. Moving to yet another state today!”
Meanwhile, the journalist was said to have asked Fani-Kayode who bankrolled his recent tour of some southern states while the former minister was infuriated by the question, said the journalist was stupid.
In his words:
“I am saying this on live TV. What type of stupid question is that? Bankrolling who? Do you know who you are talking to? I will not take any questions from this man. What type of insulting question is that? Which bankroll? To do what? Who can give me money for anything? Who do you think you are talking to? Go and report yourself to your publisher? Please don’t insult me here. I don’t want to take any questions from this man”.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists had condemned the former minister.
The NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo, said in a statement on Tuesday, that the former minister assaulted the journalist and threatened him for asking a question
Nigerians who have been expressing their views over the issue which has since gone viral said Femi-kayode has not rendered due apology to Charles.
However, some people defended Fani-Kayode’s response, insisting that the question was insulting.
Do you think Femi duely apologized? Was his reaction to the said “aggrieved” question right? Let’s have your say.