Nigerian lawmaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, has reacted to the criticism he faced from Nigerians following the N100m customized Mercedez Benz G-Wagon he gave to his wife at her 50th birthday bash recently.
In a statement released this morning, Gbajabiamila says he saved up the money he used to buy the SUV. Read the statement below:
“My attention has been drawn to the extensive reports especially on social media regarding the presentation of a gift to my wife and best friend in celebration of her 50th birthday anniversary.
Naturally I had anticipated this occasion for quite a while and prepared by saving up for it in the last couple of years. I took the decision far back to present her with a significant gift, she was totally unaware of, to convey in part, the debt of my gratitude to her for standing by me through ‘thick and thin’. I could never have been half the man I am today without her support and unbelievable understanding. Truly, the monetary value of any gift real or imagined, pales in significance when I consider how much of a ‘rock and pillar’ she has been to me.
The presentation of the gift contrary to public perception, was to be a family affair in our home but it suffered some delays finally arriving when a number of guests were in to celebrate with my wife. It still would have remained a private affair, but I guess we underestimated the power of social media and very excited friends.
Having said this, I understand and appreciate the reaction of the public. As a public official, one must be held to a higher standard. My action was not meant to offend sensibilities and I regret that it did.
Being a leader in many spheres, I can very well understand the optics of it. But I would rather want it to be seen as what it is. An expression of deep appreciation and love for my wife of almost thirty years, rather than one of flamboyance.
I remain truly committed to my values of improving lives for my constituents and Nigerians at large. As the records will show, I have consistently expended much more in achieving this goal especially within my constituency, than I spend on my wife.
I thank you for your understanding
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila”
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