Femi Fani-Kayode, a former minister of Aviation has apologised for insulting a journalist in Calabar, Cross River State capital, last week.
The apology of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP chieftain comes barely a day after he remained defiant, oiling his ego over the unfortunate outburst wherein he described the media practitioner as being very stupid.
A question by the journalist, Eyo Charles, attached to one of the national dailies, on who was bankrolling his tours across states of the federation necessitated the outburst. He had vowed yesterday not to apologise for his verbal attacks despite criticism that greeted it when a video clip of what transpired surfaced online.
But in a statement this morning, the former minister said he regretted using the word stupid and have withdrawn it after being advised to do so. He also denied sending one of his security aides to interrogate the journalist.
“I met with my advisors & 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 & using such words. I hereby express my regrets for doing so,” the PDP chieftain said.
“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 & worked with journalists & 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 another state today!” he added.