Monday, February 25, 2013

President Jonathan spent poor people's money on Beyonce and Jay Z?

6:35 AM


What President Goodluck Jonathan did as the Governor of Bayelsa is coming back to haunt him - 7 years later! Bayelsa state was one of the major sponsors of the Thisday Music Festival which held in 2006 and featured Beyonce and Jay Z. According to new reports, President Jonathan as the governor of the state then spent $1million on the music festival.  

SaharaReports reported it four days ago (Read it HERE) that the money spent on the festival was fromThe Bayelsa State Poverty Alleviation fund. Hmmmm. Well, now the report has gone international. UK Daily Mail quoted Sahara Reporters in their report. 


Read the full report from UK Daily Mail after the cut...

Documents above from SaharaReporters

The Nigerian president spent $1million of aid money to entice international popstars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z to perform at a music festival in the poverty-stricken country, a media source reported.

A letter stamped and signed by Bayelsa State officials in 2006 revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan, then the Governor of the state, released 150million Nigerian Nairas from the state’s poverty alleviation fund for the inaugural ThisDay Music Festival in the city of Lagos in 2006, according to SaharaReporters.

The document surfaced after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was reportedly paid $500,000 (£329,695) for a fleeting appearance in Lagos last week, angering Nigerian commentators.

The Nigerian president spent $1million of aid money to entice international popstars such as Beyonce and Jay-Z to perform at a music festival in the poverty-stricken country, a media source reported.

A letter stamped and signed by Bayelsa State officials in 2006 revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan, then the Governor of the state, released 150million Nigerian Nairas from the state’s poverty alleviation fund for the inaugural ThisDay Music Festival in the city of Lagos in 2006, according to SaharaReporters.

The document surfaced after reality TV star Kim Kardashian was reportedly paid $500,000 (£329,695) for a fleeting appearance in Lagos last week, angering Nigerian commentators.

The authenticity of the letter has not been confirmed. It is not known whether the funds allegedly released by the government were paid to festival performers directly and if so, how much the performers received.

One source told SaharaReporters: ‘Mr Obaigbena often lines up financial bonanzas from numerous governors, ministers and other top government officials to finance his jamborees.’

At the bottom of the letter, a handwritten note allegedly signed by aides of then Governor Jonathan and the state’s accountant general says: ‘Release N150,000,000.00 (One hundred and fifty million naira) only to be drawn from the poverty alleviation subhead.’

The letter reads: ‘The music festival will bring the world’s top music icons to Nigeria and showcase the great news coming out of Nigeria.
‘Already several top music icons have signed on or are signing on.
‘They’ll tell the world through music that Nigeria’s time has come.’
The publisher added: ‘We invite you to partner with us as co-hosts of the festival.
‘With a total budget of $10 million, the co-host is expected to contribute a minimum of $2.5 million.’

There was also no indication that Beyonce and Jay Z were aware that their appearance was subsidised by the Nigerian state’s poverty alleviation fund, it was reported.

Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg and Ciara were also among performers at the 2006 festival.

Mr Obaigbena’s parent company Leaders & Company have produced other major events in Nigeria which have seen other American stars such as Usher, Rihanna and R Kelly perform since 2006.

ThisDay Festival has also hosted former American President Bill Clinton and Lawrence Summers, the former economic adviser for the Obama office.
Tickets prices have often been too expensive for the average Nigerian with some costing tens of thousands of Nigerian Naira.

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