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Abati Is a Reckless Serial Talker- Fashola

The war of words between Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state and President Goodluck Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati is far from over as the Lagos state governor has described the president’s spokesman as a “reckless serial talker” over his comment regarding the robbery incident at a branch of FCMB in Lekki, Lagos.

It would be recalled that Fashola had blamed the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to Lagos as the reason why the robbery incident was successful because the policemen who ordinarily would have mounted surveillance at the scene of the incident were deployed to protect the president who was visiting the state.

President Jonathan was at the headquarters of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Marina at the time of the attack.

In his response to Fashola’s criticism, Abati described his statement as irresponsible and unintelligent. “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,” he had said.

However, in its response to Abati, the Lagos state government cautioned Abati to be mindful of his utterances.

Speaking through a press statement, the state government said “From the statement credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. Dr. Reuben Abati over the comments of His Excellency, Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, on the deployment of police during the visit of the president, it is obvious he is ignorant of the traffic and security menace his principal constitutes whenever he visits any part of the country.”

“It should also interest the ‘Vuvuzuela’ of President Jonathan that during these visits, which most of the times are for campaign hustles, the entire Police and other security network are put on high alert to pay attention to the presidential visits, leaving the citizens vulnerable to the reckless gallivanting of the visitor.

“Abati must be sleeping or indulging in his usual pastimes not to understand ‘route lining’ where every available policeman on duty is deployed to man routes where the President would pass through. It is not the statement of the Governor that is unintelligent, the unintelligent thing here is the inability of the President to weigh public interest above personal ambition.

“The unintelligent thing here is not to know the importance of the Police as an institution that deserves adequate funding to carry out its function of protecting life and property. The unintelligent thing is the Federal Government dodging its constitutional responsibility, of which the Police is one.”

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Ihesiulo Grace

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