Minister of Works, Power & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has spoken of a sensational tête-à-tête he had with late Umaru Yar’Adua while he was Lagos governor and the deceased was the president.
Fashola, who is immediate past Lagos governor said while in office on account of insecurity in Lagos occasioned by incessant armed robbery attacks, he approached the then president to grant him approval to buy ammunition to stem the tide.
The minister made this disclosure in an interview with selected traditional journalists when asked about his view of the agitation for state policing.
“I think what is important is to stop hiding behind the finger and looking for state police. States fund police, I funded them as governor (of Lagos State). Many other states are still funding them. ..What we did in Lagos was effective. We had bank robberies almost every week, sometimes twice without response. We ended that. We didn’t create a new police force. I went to President Yar’Adua and I said, ‘Look, I have people here who are at risk and all of that’. He said ‘what do you want to do?’ I said I wanted to import guns and I wanted to import ammunition.
“He called the NSA and said ‘is this possible?’ The NSA said ‘yes but we won’t give it to you’. I said ‘you don’t need to give me the weapons. Give it to the Inspector-General of Police but make sure he reassigns them to my state’.” Fashola was quoted by Vanguard as saying.