Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has reacted swiftly to the barrage of condemnations from members of public over his altercation with a journalist in Cross River State on Tuesday.
Fani-Kayode, while responding to a question after his tour of some project sites in the state had called the reporter of the Daily Trust Newspaper names and threatened to report him to his publisher.
However, the former minister said early on Wednesday that he had since withdrawn calling the journalist, “Stupid”
As he put it, “I withdraw the word ‘stupid’ used on journalist.
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.
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!