Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has retracted the word “stupid” he used on a Daily Trust reporter.
Fani-Kayode had verbally attacked Eyo Charles, a journalist, who asked him a question at a press conference in Calabar, Cross River last week.
Fani-Kayode, in a statement on Wednesday, 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.”
“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.”
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the International Press Centre (IPC) have slammed Fani-Kayode for his outburst.
NUJ said Fani-Kayode’s reaction was “reprehensible, dishonourable and irritating” while the IPC said it was “repulsive”.