Reacting to reports in some national and foreign dailies that the federal government was in the process of recruiting international public relations firm to “counter mounting criticism both inside and outside the country,” the Presidency yesterday said the claims were completely false and baseless.
A statement by the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said the suggestion that the federal government had the intention to spend $800million on the phantom public relations effort to ease “increasing pressure over its response to the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls,” was also wholly untrue.
“Coming as they do, at a particularly difficult and sensitive time for the entire nation, the federal government considers the reports of a drive to recruit consultants to launder its image as highly insensitive, deplorable, absurd and very malicious.
“The federal government’s topmost priority for now is not public relations or image laundering but national security and the ongoing effort to ensure the safe return of the abducted college girls.
“We therefore condemn the attempt by purveyors of the bogus reports to incite the Nigerian public against the federal government through the circulation of falsehoods,” the statement said.