The Presidency, Friday, reacted with anger to Governor Babatunde Fashola’s claim that the robbery incident in Lagos, Thursday evening, could have been averted if security personnel were not deployed to guard President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser on Media, the Presidency said that the president’s visits does not necessitate the depletion of the security personnel in the area.
Speaking to a gathering of young professionals and entertainment personalities on Thursday night, Mr. Fashola had said that police officers who would have confronted the robbers had been deployed to guard the president.
About six people, including three police officers, were killed after about half a dozen armed robbers stormed a bank on Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1.
The robbers escaped in a speedboat after their operation, several witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Jonathan visited the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos on Thursday to launch a new mobile platform, X-Gen, to increase global investment.
“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,” Mr. Fashola said at the gathering tagged ‘An Evening with Buhari and Osinbajo.’
“All the vehicles we bought for the police were stationed to receive the President in Lagos. Those policemen have children and tonight their mothers will have to explain to them why daddy is not coming home.”
The presidency described Mr. Fashola’s statement as “grossly and utterly irresponsible.”
“We expect that a man of his status who is the Governor of a state should speak more responsibly,” the presidency said in the statement.
“It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever that the entire police formation in a state would be deployed to protect the president of Nigeria.
“The visit of the President (to) any part of the country does not necessitate the depletion of the police force active that particular state or its environment.
“The President has a defined team that protects him anywhere he goes and again, President Jonathan does not need the entire police force to protect him in a state where he is loved by the people and where as we have seen, he enjoys overwhelming support to the leadup of the 2015 presidential election.”