Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, has described Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman, as a “reckless serial talker” over his comment regarding the robbery incident at a branch of FCMB in Lekki, Lagos.
Fashola had insinuated that President Jonathan was to blame for the incident 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.
Jonathan was at the headquarters of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Marina at the time of the attack.
After Fashola’s criticism, Abati responded, describing Fashola’s 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, the state government on Tuesday cautioned Abati to be mindful of his utterances, stating that from the statement credited to him over the comments of Governor Fashola 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,” the state government said in a statement.
“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.
The state government said that “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.”