This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Rueben Abati, who described the described the report as utterly false and misleading.
This denial by the Presidency however contradicts the statement by Mr Ifeanyi Nihe, spokesman for Coscharis Motors who reportedly supplied the 200 exotic cars. While Abati said the Coscharis Motors offered to provide some cars for the event at no cost to the organizers
The African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) Mr Nihe according to the report by Daily Trust said that the company had supplied vehicles to the Federal Government but refused to state the number and cost.
Could it then be that Mr Nihe cannot declare differentiate between the Federal government from the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM).
Below is the full text of the statement from the Presidency.
PRESIDENCY REFUTES REPORT THAT 200 CARS WERE BOUGHT FOR FIRST LADIES’ SUMMIT
The Presidency has noted with dismay, the utterly false and misleading claim in the lead report in today’s edition of the Daily Trust newspaper that the Federal Government has purchased 200 new “exotic” cars for the African First Ladies Summit which formally opens in Abuja tomorrow.
The true facts of the matter are as follows:
The African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) which is holding its summit in Abuja is a Non-Governmental Organisation. Its activities are funded by stakeholders and members of the private sector who support and identify with its objectives.
In accordance with its modus operandi, the AFLPM set up several committees, including a finance committee to raise funds and sponsorship for the organization of its Abuja Summit.
As part of its own contributions to the successful hosting of the summit by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, Coscharis Motors Ltd offered to provide some cars for the event at no cost to the organizers or the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Under an agreement signed by the committee and Coscharis Motors, all the cars will be returned to the company after the summit.
As indicated in the body of the report, the editors of Daily Trust were apparently well aware that they had no facts to support the claim in their banner headline that the Federal Government bought the cars in question.
Daily Trust admits in the report that it could not confirm if the cars were “bought outright or hired” yet it went ahead to publish the totally unsubstantiated headline claim – “FG BUYS 200 CARS FOR FIRST LADIES SUMMIT”.
It is highly regrettable that the Editors of the Daily Trust rushed to publish a completely erroneous report, the falsity of which should have been apparent to them.
Their very unprofessional and unethical decision to publish the unverifiable allegation can only be construed as another attempt to incite public anger against the Presidency and the Federal Government.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 25, 2012