Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation, said he has regretted his verbal attack against a Daily Trust reporter, Eyo Charles, in Cross River State.

Mr Fani-Kayode, in a Twitter post on Wednesday morning, said, “I met with my advisors 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.”

Mr Fani-Kayode, however, insisted he did not threaten to harm the reporter nor 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. 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!”

Mr Fani-Kayode is captured in a video which has gone viral pouring invective on the Daily Trust reporter, Mr Charles, for asking him a question at a press briefing on Thursday.

Mr Fani-Kayode, who was visibly angry, told the reporter he was “foolish” for asking him who “bankrolled” his tour of projects in Cross River and other states in the South-south.

The briefing, moderated by Governor Ben Ayade’s spokesperson, Christian Ita, was meant for the former minister to talk to the reporters about his tour.

It was attended by reporters from Vanguard, Punch, NAN, AIT, and other media houses.

“I could see from your face before you got here, how stupid you are. Don’t ever talk to me like that,” Mr Fani-Kayode kept yelling at the reporter who was still standing and apologising — “I am sorry, sir.”

“Don’t judge me by your own standards,” the former minister kept saying.

“I have been in politics since 1990. I am not one of those politicians that you think will just come… . I was taken, I have been locked up how many times by this government. I have been prosecuted, unlike most of these politicians you follow for brown envelopes!