• ‘I’ve forgiven him’ – Charles Eyo

BY UBON EKANEM – Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has apologised to Eyo Charles, his newspaper, Daily Trust, and Nigerian journalists for his outbursts against the reporter during a recent press conference in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The unreserved apology is coming barely three days after Fani-Kayode branded the reporter ‘stupid’ for requesting to know who is “bankrolling” his ongoing tour of several states in the country.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Daily Trust, several Media practitioners and Public Affairs commentators had condemned the ex-Minister for his comments and verbal abuses hurled at the reporter over the question.

Following mounting public pressure and wide-spread condemnations, a seemingly sober Fani-Kayode has finally expressed deep regrets for his actions in Calabar.

The former spokesman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign during the 2015 general elections wore an apologetic gown as he faced the media on Friday, August 27, 2020 at the Government House in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.

He told the gathering: “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.”

“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.”

In a clear departure from his usual boisterous self, the ex-Minister, wholly expressed remorse for his earlier outbursts saying: “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.”

An angry state chapter of NUJ in Akwa Ibom had earlier in the day, ordered its members to boycott the press conference planned by the former Minister and one time presidential spokesperson over his abusive comments.

Meanwhile, the Daily Trust reporter, Eyo Charles, who is in the centre of it all, said he has forgiven Mr Fani-Kayode.

In explaining his reasons for resorting to offering apologies as the former Minister lashed out at him, Charles, a Christian clergyman, likened that encounter to the sacrificial suffering any Christian must face in life.

According to him, Mr Fani-Kayode also “is doing the work of God”.

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