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 Robbery: Fashola’s claim on Jonathan irresponsible – Presidency

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PostSubject: Robbery: Fashola’s claim on Jonathan irresponsible – Presidency   14/03/15, 04:45 am

The Presidency on Friday described
as irresponsible and unintelligent a
statement by Lagos State Governor,
Babatunde Fashola, that Thursday’s
deadly robbery in Lekki area of
Lagos was made possible as a result
of President Goodluck Jonathan’s
presence in the state.
Special Adviser to the President on
Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben
Abati, made the Presidency’s
position known in an interview
with State House correspondents in
Abuja.
Three policemen and a fish seller
were said to have been killed on
Thursday by a gang of robbers who
stormed the First City Monument
Bank on Admiralty Way in Lekki,
Lagos State.
The Lagos State Governor,
Babatunde Fashola, said in the
video posted online by
Saharatvonline, “This afternoon
(Thursday), we lost three
policemen in a robbery in Lekki and
it is the first of its type in a very
long time.
“But it was sad to have seen all our
security personnel and all our
security vehicles deployed to
protect one man. All the vehicles
we bought for the police were
stationed to receive the President
in Lagos while the citizens were
left vulnerable.
“Those policemen have children
and tonight, their mothers would
be hard put to explain to them why
daddy would not be coming home.”
But Abati said the Presidency
viewed the governor’s statement
as “grossly and utterly
irresponsible.”
He said he expected that a man of
Fashola’s status should speak more
responsibly.
He said it did not make any sense
that the entire police formation in
the state would be deployed to
protect the President during his
visit that saw him sounding the
gong to signal closing of business
at the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Abati said, “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 or
environment.
“The President has a defined team
that protects him anywhere he
goes.
“And again, President 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.
“We do not only consider Governor
Babatunde Fashola’s 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.
“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
commiserate with the affected
families.
“But we will find it really cheap and
disgusting that the governor of a
state will now see that, an occasion
of bereavement affecting the
number of families, as an
opportunity to play very cheap and
irresponsible politics.”
The Nigeria Police have also said
that there is nothing improper in
deploying as many policemen as
possible to protect the country’s
President.
Asked whether a larger percentage
of policemen in a state are
deployed to protect the President
whenever he visits any state in the
country, Force Public Relations
Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Ojukwu,
explained that the President
needed as much security as he
could get.
Ojukwu said, “There is nothing
wrong in adequately protecting the
President but that does not mean
that the police force will leave
every other Nigerian unprotected.
That is why we are called ‘Nigerian
Police Force.’
“There is simply no truth in the
opinion that all our men were
drafted to protect the President.”
Meanwhile, the police in Lagos
have said investigation is ongoing
to track down the robbers.
Spokesperson for the Lagos State
Police Command, Mr. Kenneth
Nwosu, explained that men of the
force in the state are in mourning,
adding that whenever there is a
development in the investigation,
the public would be informed.
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