Following the viral social media video which shows the Niger state Commissioner for local government, community development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji presenting an iPhone 11 Pro to his wife for her birthday, the Commissioner has rebuked his critics saying he can afford to buy the phone and more expensive ones for his wife.
Speaking to The Nation after its report on the condemnation that trailed the viral video, Daji said that an N400,000 iPhone is not too much for him to gift to his wife as her birthday present adding that she deserved it and more.
He, however, explained that there was no lavish birthday party adding that the celebration took place with only his family members present and in his dining room.
He explained that as a successful legal practitioner, a two-time local government Chairman and now serving Commissioner, iPhone 11 should not be something he can not afford for his wife as a birthday gift.
“People buy a car for their wife if they have the means so why the condemnation that I bought a phone for my wife. Those reacting to this are just being mischievous, wicked and it is an attempt to tarnish my image because I am a Commissioner”.
The Commissioner further explained that until reading the story, he did not know the make of the phone stating that the said iPhone was even a gift from a commercial bank his ministry operates an account with.
“I did not even know the make of the phone. When it was given to me as a birthday gift, I decided to keep it for my wife’s birthday to give it to her especially as she had earlier indicated interest in it.
“And again this is what I do every year for my wives and children even before I became Commissioner. I always make them feel special on their birthday, so I wondered why this is generating so many reactions on social media.
“Even the birthday cake was made by my wife’s housemaid as her own gift to my wife. And in all honesty, there was nothing like a party, it was just family members, that is my first wife and her two sisters, my second wife, the children, and my self. There was no outsider there.
“I wonder why people are so uptight about me presenting a phone gift to my wife. It is my wife we are talking about, there is no gift too big to give to her.
“Besides, I have been a local government Chairman before becoming a Commissioner, and before that I have been a big-time lawyer, so buying that type of phone for my wife should not raise eyebrows. I am more than capable to buy it.
“Even if I was not doing well before I became a commissioner, at least my seven months salaries since becoming Commissioner, I should be able to afford a phone of N400, 000 for my wife.”
The Commissioner said that he intends to give his first wife a bigger gift during her birthday which is around the corner.
“You see, funny enough my first wife’s birthday is coming up soon and I have decided to give her a bigger gift. People should stop seeing all of us as corrupt, I can afford these things, and I can confidently say that I have not mismanaged government’s resources or touched the salaries of local government staff.”
He further explained that the 20 percent slash in the salaries of local government staff which he was been accused of was never his decision but that of the local government Chairmen and the Union Leaders calling on the people to direct their anger to the right quarters.
“I often wonder why people are crucifying me for the decisions made by the local government Chairmen and agreed by the different unions. They took the decision and not me. I was there in the meeting just to coordinate the meeting.”
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