A former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in a statement disclosed that he has withdrawn the word “stupid” which he had used against a journalist.
It would be recalled that Fani-Kayode had verbally attacked Eyo Charles, a Daily Trust journalist, who asked him a question during a press conference in Calabar, Cross River last week.
In the video of the press briefing which went viral the former Minister of Aviation was seen vehemently berating the journalist for asking him a certain question, and repeatedly using the word “stupid” during his utterance.
The clip generated online outrage as many condemned the former minister for verbally abusing the journalist who was simply doing his job.
In response, Fani-Kayode who did not tender an outright apology however stated that he had offended many of his friends in the media by using such a word on a journalist.
In the statement released on Wednesday Fani-Kayode disclosed that he has withdrawn the word “stupid” which he had used in his encounter with the journalist in Calabar.
The statement read in part: “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.”
“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 honorable and noble within its ranks.”