We read the story with the above headline on your Saturday, September 24, 2016 edition with utter disbelief.
Not that we were taken aback by the underlying motive to whip up negative sentiments against the government, portray it in bad light as wasteful and inconsiderate especially in the face of growing economic hardship, we are particularly miffed by the utter lack of depth displayed in the publication.
It is particularly sickening and a show of editorial mishmash for a paper to list some of the vehicles personally owned and already in use by a governor far before he became a governor as instances of lavishing “billions on bulletproof cars.”
Does it not call to question The PUNCH’s sense of judgment that a vehicle in which Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was attacked in the well reported Oroki Day saga in 2006 is one of the so-called bulletproof cars it has accused the governor of “lavishing billions” on at a time of recession?
If PUNCH has forgotten that near-tragic drama, has its correspondent also forgotten that more than a year after Aregbesola assumed office as Governor, no official car was procured for his use? Assuming without conceding that there are six bulletproof vehicles in the fleet of the governor’s convoy, how does that justify the basis for PUNCH’s story which is recession? If recession was declared officially less than a month in Nigeria, is PUNCH suggesting that vehicles in the fleet of governors ought to be auctioned immediately?
In addition, is the PUNCH suggesting that because of recession, number one citizens of states saddled with delicate tasks of piloting affairs of their states must loose their rights to personal safety?
There are many questions begging for answers which the story raises. For the umpteenth time, we can only advise The PUNCH to allow the promotion of an egalitarian society, truth and balance be the basis of its editorial output.
In 2012, The PUNCH in an editorial, accused Osun government of lavishing millions to procure exotic cars for traditional rulers in the state. They bought no bicycle for any monarch. This is among several other false stories written about the state and the governor.
The story in question is another in the series of stories which call to question, The PUNCH’s editorial judgment.
Signed: Bello Adebayo
Director of Publicity