By Abiodun Alade, @biodunpen
RichestLifestyle.com has removed the name of President Goodluck Jonathan from its Richest African Presidents 2014 list.
President Jonathan was ranked sixth richest African President with a net worth of $100 million dollars. A claim the President denied, threatening legal action against the publishers. A check on the website revealed that the article on President Jonathan has been deleted. The publishers stated of the removal of the article thus, ” This article has been removed. The net worth was evaluated by Celebrity Net Worth”.
The Presidency on Wednesday condemned what it termed “the totally unwarranted inclusion of President Jonathan in the publication”.
In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said President Jonathan has never been a businessman and all his income since 1999 till date has been from the emoluments he earned from the offices he has held.
According to Dr Abati, the “the totally unwarranted inclusion of President Jonathan in the publication titled “Africa’s Richest Presidents 2014″ is another attempt to unjustifiably portray the President as a corrupt leader and incite public disaffection against him”.
He said that “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 statement reads: “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.
“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 libelous claims against the President in courts of law within and outside Nigeria”.