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Mercy Johnson & Daughter Purity spotted in Train, explains why she sat with ‘Ordinary People’ (photos)

Yesterday photos
of Nollywood actress Mercy Johnson and her daughter Purity  taking a
ride on one of the fully air-conditioned trains commissioned by the
Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, hit the blogosphere.
Following
the stir that viral photos caused, the actress has released a press
statement (below) via her spokesperson, Big Sam Media, telling why she settled
for the train ride.

My picture
and that of my daughter, Purity in a Lagos train has surfaced online
and quite a number of people have asked me what I was doing in a train
and in Lagos for that matter; not Paris or London.I was around Iddo at
Ebute Metta when my Range Rover developed a mechanical fault and I had
to make a very important appointment
in Ikeja regardless of the usual traffic congestion in Lagos. Luckily, a
member of my management team was around, he suggested a train ride and
we were in Ikeja in less than 30 minutes but that is not the crux of this statement.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have had to answer
questions in private and public as to why I would board a train because
trains in Nigeria are considered a means of transportation for the ordinary
and not-so-rich people. A friend called and said I just devalued my
brand by being on the train with ordinary people. I couldn’t help but
laugh. Are we extra ordinary people because we are celebrities?

In
as much as I understand the concept of branding, packaging and
exclusiveness, I will never trade the experience to sit, interact and
feel the pulse of so-called ordinary people.

By
the way, I am part of the ordinary people. I grew up as an ordinary
person among ordinary people. Why would I avoid them now? Would that be
because I am now famous? Without these ordinary people, how would I have
been famous in the first place? Without the so called ordinary people,
where would Nigeria’s growing population of so-called well packaged
celebrities be today?

For the
purpose of clarification, I was not on that train due to lack of money
to get a well packaged cab or to get somebody to bring another car from
the house but, my car developed an unforeseen fault and I needed a fast ,
reliable and convenient alternative immediately as there was urgent
business to be attended to and I respect time a lot.

The
train was available where I was; most importantly, I did not want to
turn down the opportunity to be with the people who would ordinarily not
have access to me so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and here
we are.

I want to thank my
co-passengers, officials of the train for treating me with absolute
respect and courtesy, I am indeed, very grateful…

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