The Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, has stated that the President is a honest and open politician and that he has not stolen any funds since his adminstration began.
Abati made this declaration while on a programme on Channels Television.He was responding to questions on Jonathan’s listing as the 6th richest African Leader as published by Richest Lifestyle.
He said, “What that Internet site and those copy-cat media houses tried to do was to give the impression that the President is corrupt. The site even said the leaders they had listed stole their people’s wealth. It’s absolutely untrue. President Jonathan has not stolen anybody’s wealth.
“He is a very honest and decent man. Those who know him knows that he is not in office to amass wealth but to serve Nigerians to the best of his ability and to leave a legacy that the present and the next generation would be proud of.”
On the call for the President public declaration of his assest, he said that the President has declared his assets before the code of conduct bureau as required by law.
“President Jonathan has dutifully complied with regulations and has declared his assets, every year and at all occasions. If anyone wants to find out, President Jonathan does not have $100m either in cash or in assets.
“He has always declared his assets but the law does not require any public official to declare his asset publicly. The body that is in charge of declaration of assets is the Code of Conduct Bureau.
“The President has done what is required, anybody who is looking for information on his assets should know that the appropriate place to go is the Code of Conduct Bureau. You don’t expect the President to go against the law and do a public declaration.”
Abati had released a statement immediately Jonathan’s name was published as the 6th richest African leader in which the President demanded a public apology and said it will sue the website for libel.
Abati noted that there was still a possibility that the President will go ahead and sue the website for libel.
He added that what the website did was not a retraction and said its management had also not apologised to the President.
“Before the statement that was issued went out, President Jonathan briefed his lawyers. It’s for the lawyers to take it from there,” Abati said