The government of Ghana has denied the report that Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills, the country’s first lady has given a Backes & Strauss gold watch gift worth $48,000 to Mrs. Michelle Obama, the US first lady.
News reports citing the US Federal Register report said the Ghanaian first lady gave the gifts to Mrs. Obama during the visit of President Obama to Ghana in 2009.
In a straightforward statement the Ghana government says “The First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills, did NOT present Mrs. Michelle Obama with a Backes & Strauss wristwatch valued at $48,000, when President Barrack Obama and his wife paid a state visit to Ghana in the second week of July 2009.”
The statement however indicated that during the visit of President Obama and his wife, through the government, all kinds of gifts were presented to them.
A blogger known as Craig M described the watch as a “stunning Backes & Strauss automatic timepiece. The 18kt rose gold watch contains 2.35 carats of diamonds with its dial adorned with the flag of the Republic of Ghana.
Contained within the graphic of the flag is the display for a moonphase complication. The watch was presented to her on behalf of Ghana by Backes & Struass, and the African Watch Trading Co Ltd. This is certainly no slouch of a watch but its extravagance comes second to the understanding that diamonds and gold are two of Ghana’s greatest resources.”
But the government statement says “Without any equivocation, the gift was handed over, neither on the orders, nor, with the knowledge of Mrs. Naadu Mills.”
Meanwhile, the only gifts listed as coming from Mrs. Mills to Mrs. Obama on the US Federal Register were the watch and “six pieces of ‘kente’ cloth and two glass bead jewelry sets, each consisting of a necklace, earrings, and two bracelets, all valued at $615”.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi