The Presidency on Wednesday reacted angrily to the listing of President Goodluck Jonathan as the sixth richest president in Africa.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, Jonathan, a life-long civil servant, said the report suggests he has corruptly enriched himself since he became Nigeria’s Number One citizen.
He has therefore demanded a retraction and apology from the website and all those who have reproduced the article, falling which he will be forced to seek legal redress.
Below is the text of Abati’s statement:
We have noted with consternation the listing of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by a website – RichestLifestyle.com – as the sixth richest African President with an estimated net worth of $100 Million U.S. Dollars.
The Presidency condemns the totally unwarranted inclusion of President Jonathan in the publication titled “Africa’s Richest Presidents 2014” as another attempt to unjustifiably portray the President as a corrupt leader and incite public disaffection against him.
We categorically assert that there is no factual basis for ranking President Jonathan as the sixth richest African Head of State with a net worth of about $100 Million U.S. Dollars.
As is well known, President Jonathan has never been a businessman or entrepreneur, but a life-long public servant. The President has held public office since 1999 and has regularly declared his assets as required by Nigerian laws. He has had no personal income since 1999 other than his official remuneration as deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting president and president which are matters of public record.
There has been no significant variation in the totality of his personal assets as contained in his last declaration to the Nigerian Code of Conduct Bureau in 2011 which, as can be verified, was a very, very far cry from the $100 million figure now being bandied about by Richest Lifestyle.com and other irresponsible, copy-cat publications.
The clear and unacceptable imputation of the claim that President Jonathan is now worth about $100 Million is that the President has corruptly enriched himself while in office which is certainly not the case.
We therefore demand a retraction and an unreserved apology from Richest Lifestyle.com and all those who have reproduced the offensive article.
Otherwise, they should be prepared to substantiate their libellous claims against the President in courts of law within and outside Nigeria.