53 Gold Plated Iphones: Reuben Abati Finally Speaks
24 hours after a widely circulated report suggested that the Nigerian Government ordered 53 gold plated iphones worth over N662mn to celebrate the country’s 53rd anniversary on the 1st of October, President Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati has denied claims that the government of Goodluck Jonathan made the order.
The report published in the UK’s Independent newspaper quoted the CEO of the Gold and co Amjad Ali saying the Nigerian government has made an order of “53 gold iPhones to mark the country’s 53rd year of independence, but the company in several tweets via its twitter handle @Goldandco few hours after the report went viral denied there was an order from the Nigerian government.
Analyst believed the company must have been pressured by the government to deny the report and Abati in his usual character has quickly cashed on to the new claims by the company to say that the report is another attempt to discredit President Jonathan’s well-meaning, hardworking and focused administration.
Read the full statement from Abati below:
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DID NOT ORDER CUSTOMISED GOLD IPHONES FOR OCTOBER 1
We consider the reports in a section of the media claiming that the Nigerian government had ordered customized gold iPhones from a Dubai-based company to mark the country’s 53rd independence anniversary in October not only false and misleading, but utterly mischievous.
It is instructive that despite the refutation of the story by the company, which ought to have laid the mischief to rest, a number of politically-minded news media continue to insist on promoting the blatant falsehood.
We deplore their antics as yet another attempt to use any trick or means possible to discredit President Jonathan’s well-meaning, hardworking and focused administration. It is certainly a matter of public record and knowledge that since his assumption of office, President Jonathan has ensured that October 1independence-day anniversaries are low-key, without any pomp or pageantry.
Ironically, even this prudence generated criticisms from a cynical and opportunistic segment of the public which alleged, in 2011, and again in2012, that the President was either too scared to celebrate or that the government was broke.
This administration has no intention to depart from its established habit of prudent management of resources and modest celebration of the country’s independence anniversary. This year, the public should be assured that the October 1 anniversary will also be low-keyed. Neither the Federal Government nor its agencies has ordered any gold iPhones to mark the anniversary.
We do not see any justification for such extravagance either now or at any other time. The Jonathan administration’s gold standard is to continue to provide responsible, committed, and result-oriented leadership, not to engage in the purchase and distribution of party gifts.
We urge the Dubai-based company, which has since said that the order for the said 53 gold i-phones was placed by a private individual and not the Nigerian Government, to go ahead and disclose the identity of that individual.
We appeal to the public to beware of the increasing desperation of those with politically vested interests, seeking to pull down this administration. Their moral bankruptcy is condemnable.
The Jonathan administration will remain focused as it continues to serve the Nigerian people diligently.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
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