Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has tendered his unreserved apology to the reporter he verbally attacked during a recent press conference in Calabar.
Naija News recalls Fani-Kayode in a viral video had angrily described a Daily Trust journalist, Eyo Charles as very stupid after the man asked him a question during a press conference about who was financing his tour of the South-South states.
The former Minister felt insulted by the question and angrily talked back at the journalist, describing him among other things as a stupid person who asked a stupid question.
“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, a very small mind,” he had said.
The incident attracted a lot of reactions and backlash for the former Minister, with Nigerians demanding an apology from him after the episode.
Fani-Kayode however insisted that he won’t apologize to the reporter.
This online newspaper, however, has confirmed that Fani-Kayode has retracted his statement and apologized to Mr. Charles after the public backlash, including the boycott of his activities by some chapters of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) that greeted the episode.
Speaking at a press conference at government house, Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom, on Friday, Fani-Kayode said he is deeply sorry for his action, noting that though the question was mischievous, he should have been smarter in his response as a leader.
“I’m deeply sorry for the manner I reacted to the said reporter. I was too hard on him. The question was mischievous, but I fell for it,” he said.
“I should have been smarter than that. I am using this opportunity to reach out to him, and I hope he will be kind enough to forgive me. I disappointed myself, my family and friends, my colleagues and even my bosses, those who hold me in high esteem.”
While apologizing to all who felt disappointed by his action, Fani-Kayode promised such an incident will never happen again.
“I have regrets, it was not my finest day. No leader or public figure should ever react like that. I disappointed myself. I deeply regret it and I believe it will never happen again.”