Following the criticisms that trailed a luxury car gift the Majority leader of house of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila gave to his wife on her 50th birthday from Nigerians, the lawmaker has clarified his intention and apologised to Nigerians.
Gbajabiamila, the lawmaker representing Surulere 1 Constituency, had recently donated a luxury car, labelled G-Wagon to his wife on her birthday which later generated a lot of controversies from every corner.
The internet got swirling when pictures of his precious gift to his wife emerged, drawing criticisms from Nigerians on the amount that went into the purchase when many citizens are struggling to survive.
But rejecting insinuations on the purpose of his gift, Gbajabiamila in a remorseful tone, explained that contrary to perceptions that the car gift had evoked among Nigerians, he only gave the gift “to convey in part, the debt of my gratitude to her for standing by me through ‘thick and thin’”.
The lawmaker argued that contrary to beliefs shared by Nigerians, it took him years to save for the purchase of the gift, insisting that “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,” he added.
On how the image of the gift presentation found its way to public glare, Gbajabiamila said though, it was meant to be a family affair “in our home” but that guests who were part of the celebration and excited made it public.
“Having said this, I understand and appreciate the reaction of the public. As a public official, one must be held to a higher standard,” he noted, declaring that “My action was not meant to offend sensibilities and I regret that it did.”
Continuing, he said “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,” he concluded.