Femi Fani-Kayode, former minister of aviation, says he was insulted by the journalist whom he attacked at a press conference.
Fani-Kayode, who has been touring some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) states, shouted at Eyo Charles, a reporter with Daily Trust, before ending a briefing in Calabar, Cross River state.
Charles had asked him if his recent trips were being sponsored and the ex-minister lost his cool afterwards.
“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,” he had said.
The development triggered varied responses among many Nigerians, with some faulting the former minister’s action.
But reacting via a statement, Fani-Kayode said he had no apology to offer, insisting that the journalist’s comment was insulting.
“During my tour of the South and after a long and successful press conference in Calabar, Cross Rivers state, a journalist put up his hand for the last question and said: Well we do not know who is bankrolling you,” he said.
“Below is my response and I have no apology to offer for it… This is not a question but an assertion and an insult. And if this insulting assertion were made before (Donald) Trump or OBJ (Olusegun Obasanjo), I know how they would have reacted.
“The young man apologised to me during the press conference and sent his apologies to me after the conference. I have accepted his apologies in good faith and moved on.
“I have always had respect for journalists and I always will. Those of them that know me or have worked with or for me over the last 30 years can attest to that.”
Fani-Kayode added that there is a difference between asking a question and “offering a gratuitous insult.”
“This is all the more so when it is clear that the assertion was sponsored and engineered by my political enemies who wanted to use the young man to insult and embarrass me and question my integrity. Well they got more than they bargained for,” he said.
“I repeat this was not a question but an assertion and an insult and I will not accept that from any man born of woman. Thank you.”