The presidency has debunked reports that it has ordered customized gold iPhone for the country’s 53rd independence anniversary in October “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”Presidential Spokesman Reuben Abati said in a statement.
“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.
He added that”It is certainly a matter of public record and knowledge that since his assumption of office, President Jonathan has ensured that October 1 independence-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 in
2012, that the President was either too scared to celebrate or that the government was broke.
According to Abati “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
“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.
Earlier, Mr Joseph Mutah, press secretary minister of information,Mr Labaran Maku said “the obvious, the story is entirely false and the figment of the imagination of the authors.
The information minister said “At no time did the Federal Government of Nigeria or any of its organ mooted this idea or placed any order for gold-plated iPhones for the nation’s 53rd independence anniversary or any anniversary for that matter.
“We therefore call on Nigerians and the international community to disregard this story and consider it as one of those calculated attempts at tarnishing the image of the government.
“Let us also use this opportunity to urge Nigerians to watch out against those intent on blackmailing the government for political reasons!!
“We also appeal to Nigerians to use their wealth to invest in the economy to create jobs and generate more wealth for the nation rather than waste such money in pursuit of expensive tastes! They should copy the example of Aliko Dangote, Innocent Chukwuma and others who are using their talents and wealth to invest in the economy to create jobs for Nigerians” the minister said through his aide.