The recent Lekki bank robbery which took some lives is still generating some steam as the governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola has taken a swipe at Reuben Abati.
After the robbery, Fashola had said the robbers succeeded because all security personnel in the state were deployed to protect President Goodluck Jonathan, who was on a visit to the state, making the state and its citizens vulnerable to attack.
In reaction, the Presidency through its spokesman, Reuben Abati had described Fashola’s statement as irresponsible and unintelligent.
Responding to Abati in a fresh statement, the governor defended his earlier statement, insisting that Jonathan is responsible for the success of the robbery, while adding that Abati was completely oblivious of the traffic and security situation in Lagos, going by his reaction.
The statement reads: “From the statement credited to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. Dr. Reuben Abatti 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 of them.
“Abati could not comprehend why Governor Fashola would be shocked at the death of three policemen; we have not had such an experience in the past two years here in Lagos where policemen are killed by armed robbers. This is a different situation where it took the death of almost 20,000 citizens before someone started to take action. When the ocean surge was going to wipe out a whole community within the Lekki area, Fashola was there.
“When Abati’s principal was holed up in Aso Rock Villa with his tails between his legs during the outbreak of the Ebola Virus in Nigeria, Fashola’s face was the succour and hope Nigerians saw. He was the only person the victims and survivors saw.
“So, this vuvuzuela should be courteous in his choice of words. We are, however, not surprised. Abatti is a serial reckless talker that likes listening to himself, and only thinks after talking. Latter converts like him acts up to become more Catholic than the Pope because of the fear to the past after the allure of office. His recent unguarded statement about General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) is still very fresh.
‘’If the retired General had not been a statesman, only God knows where Abati would be by now. It’s time someone close to this garrulous man tells him to start measuring his utterances.’’
Three policemen and a teenager had been killed in the afternoon of March 12 during a robbery at the First City Monument Bank in Lekki phase 1.
Some Nigerians had blamed the Lagos governor and the administration for the incident, while others were of the opinion that unemployment led people into robbery.
The Lagos state commissioner of police, Kayode Aderanti, has however disclosed that the command has clues to the identity of the robbers who stormed the bank.