Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) has apologized to Eyo Charles of Daily Trust for using a foul language on the journalist while on duty
Fani-Kayode in his statement on Wednesday referred to the journalist as stupid and this has course a lot of uproar on the media space and the pages of newsprints and social media.
FFK after speaking with his advisors has come to realize that he has gone to the extreme and retrace his steps to apologize to Eyo who asked a question that needed clarification.
“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”, FFK said.
The former minister, however, denied allegations that he was threatening to harm the Daily Trust reporter or has commissioned anyone to harass the Daily Trust staff.
“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 said.
“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,” he said.
Fani-Kayodefurther said that he remained a friend of the media and would be the last to seek to disparage those that are honourable and noble within its ranks.
THE ISSUE ITSELF
The former minister FFK had come under heavy criticism for calling the reporter ‘stupid’ during a press conference in Calabar and thousands of reactions follows both from media professionals and those who are not in the communication business.
In a video that has since gone viral on social media, Fani-Kayode is seen giving the Daily Trust reporter a dressing down for asking him a “stupid question”.
The journalist was said to have asked Fani-Kayode who bankrolled his recent tour of several southern states.
However, the former minister, who was infuriated by the question, said the journalist was stupid.
He said, “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.
“I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that. Who do you think you’re talking to? Bankroll who? You think I am one of those ones you… from who, when, how? You have a small mind, very small mind. Don’t judge me by your own standards”, FFK said in the video that went viral.