National News

Verbal Attack on Daily Trust Reporter: I regret my action, I withdraw the statement, I am sorry, – Fani-Kayode

By Amidu Arije

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has said he regretted using stupid when he was reacting to a question asked by Daily Trust Reporter during a round table discussion in Calabar on Tuesday.

The former Minister who responded angrily to a question of who bankrolled his trips of the South-South by the reporter said his use of the word ‘stupid’ during the encounter is hereby withdrawn and apologised to the reporter for the use of such word.

Fani-Kayode disclosed this in a series of tweets on his Twitter account at Femi Fani-Kayode @realFFK.

He tweeted:
“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.
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!”.

It would be recalled that the Fani-Kayode’s reaction to the journalist question was hit with condemnations by the media.

The National Union of Journalsits (NUJ) released a statement condemning the attack likewise the employers of the reporter, Daily Trust Newspaper a d vehemently condemned the act and reiterated its stand by its reporter.

The NUJ President, Chris Isiguzo in a statement said:
“By denigrating the journalist, Fani Kayode has exposed himself the more as an intolerant and unstable person who will not want his activities closely scrutinised by the Media.
It is instructive to remind the likes of Fani Kayode that it is the Constitutional right of Journalists to monitor and keep a check on people and institutions in power.
By delving into politics and holding political office, Fani Kayode is very conversant with the watchdog role of the media.”

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