The Niger State Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji, has described as wicked, mischievous and an attempt to tarnish his image, a viral social media video which suggested that he organized a lavish birthday party for his wife.
The viral video also saw the commissioner presenting an iphone 11 to his wife as birthday gift, but he insisted that there was nothing special about a phone gift to his wife of about 15 years as a birthday gift.
Reacting to condemnation that trailed the Facebook post, the commissioner explained that as a successful legal practitioner, a two-time local government chairman and now serving commissioners, iPhone 11 should not be something he can not afford for his wife as birthday gift.
“People buy car for their wives if they have the means, so why the blackmail that I bought phone for my wife”, he queried, adding that “to me this is mischievous, wicked and an attempt to tarnish my image because I am a commissioner.”
The commissioner regretted that the said iPhone was even a gift from a commercial bank his ministry operates an account with for his birthday which he celebrated two months ago, but decided to kept the phone to surprise his wife with it on her birthday.
“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 a commissioner. I always make them feel special on their birthday, so I wondered why this is generating so much reactions on social media.
“Even the birthday cake was made by my wife’s house maid as her own gift to my wife. And in all honesty, there was nothing like 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. Whoever the mischief maker is, I’m sure he did not know my background.
“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 per cent 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 labour leaders.
“I often wonder why people are crucifying me for the decisions made by the local government chairmen and agreed to by the different unions. They took the decision and not me. I was there at the meeting just to coordinate the meeting.”