The Presidency on Friday descended on Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, for claiming that Thursday’s unfortunate robbery incident in Lekki was successful because all the policemen in the state were deployed to provide security for President Goodluck Jonathan, who was visiting the state.
The Presidency described the statement as grossly irresponsible.
President Jonathan had visited Lagos where he sounded the gong closing business of the day at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
But speaking at an event tagged ‘An Evening with Buhari and Osinbajo’ in Lagos on Thursday night, Governor Fashola said: “Because Jonathan was coming to Lagos, all the vehicles and police in Lagos were sent to be on standby for him, and there was no available not enough to stop the robbery at Ikoyi-Lekki link bridge.
“Perhaps what would be would have been, but it’s sad to see all our security personnel, all our security vehicles deployed to protect one man”.
Reacting to the claim yesterday while briefing journalists at Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, regretted that Fashola would have spoken responsibly as a governor because it did not make sense that the whole policemen in Lagos will be deployed to guard the president.
Abati said, “We consider the statement attributed to governor Fashola as grossly and utterly irresponsible. We expect that a man of his status who is governor of a state should speak more responsibly. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that the entire police formation in Lagos State would be deployed to protect the President of Nigeria.
“We not only consider Governor Babatunde Fashola statement as irresponsible, we also think that it is unintelligent because it flies in the face of facts and it just does not add up. The visit of the president to Lagos or any part of the country does not necessitate the depletion of the police force active in that particular state of environment”.
The presidential aide further explained that there is a defined team that protects the president anywhere he goes, adding that “Jonathan does not need the entire police force in Lagos State to protect him, in a state where he is loved by the people and where as we have seen he enjoys overwhelming support in the lead up to the 2015 presidential elections.
“And we hope that Governor Fashola in an attempt to play politics will not continue as his party does to play politics with the lives of people. People died in that unfortunate incident and President Jonathan commiserates with the affected families. But we will find it really cheap and disgusting that the governor of a state will now see that occasion of bereavement affecting the number of families as an opportunity to play very cheap and irresponsible politics”, he added.