Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday denied purchasing any bulletproof cars for himself or his wife as alleged by a report in a newspaper — National Pilot — linked to a top opposition leader in the state.
In a strongly-worded letter written to the Editor of the paper and copied to newsmen in Ilorin, AbdulRazaq also gave the medium 24 hours to retract and take down the story from all its platforms, apologise to him, or face legal consequences for the libellous report.
“The said report is entirely false, malicious, and was clearly intended to malign the good image of the Governor who has taken public service to a level never seen in this clime before by keeping a profile that is reflective of the state of Kwara and its long-deprived people. We insist that the story was a fake news and reckless journalism at its worst!” AbdulRazaq said in the letter signed by his Chief Press Secretary Rafiu Ajakaye.
“For lack of any facts to smear him, the reporter committed a libel in the guise of quoting a faceless (anonymous) source when he wrote that: “Why the secret delivery in Lagos and why were they not delivered in Ilorin for all to see? This is someone who pretends by driving himself around in Hilux Van to hoodwink unsuspecting citizens….Before the delivery of the new set of vehicles, Mallam AbdulRazaq had given the impression of a frugal Governor who deprived himself of the luxury lifestyle associated with the office in order to cut cost of governance as he seldom drives himself in Hilux pickup to functions.” This is apart from the fact that the entire story was built around downright falsehood!
“As I said in the terse response to the editor and Mumini AbdulKareem, the writer of the story, the Governor has taken no delivery of any bulletproof vehicles, Lexus Jeep or otherwise. The photographs published as proof of such delivery are a figment of the imagination of the reporter. Anybody could take any shot of any vehicle anywhere and tag it anything. But we insist that Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has taken delivery of no such vehicle. The Governor, as a mark of his modesty, still drives in his personal Lexus Jeep and other vehicles owned by him.
“We therefore challenge your newspaper to provide unassailable proofs of your claims to show that the Governor has truly taken delivery of such vehicle. In the absence of such proofs, as we are definitely sure there is none, we demand the following:
“Immediate retraction of the story on all platforms or media. This retraction should have the same prominence as the fake news; a public apology disavowing the said story. This again should be given the same prominence as the copy complained about; a letter of apology to the Governor for the reckless copy; and an assurance that the National Pilot will desist from publishing fake news against the Governor.”
The letter said AbdulRazaq has no reason to feign modesty as alleged in the report, adding: “His decision to be prudent with public funds is deliberate and is a pointer to his philosophy of selfless service to the people. His administration is a clear departure from the rapacious regimes Kwarans have recently rejected. The National Pilot is gravely mistaken to think that Governor AbdulRazaq belongs in that horrible past. This Governor, being a true son of the soil, fully appreciates the need to conserve scarce public funds to serve the best interest of the suffering people of Kwara State. He will therefore never engage in reckless spending of public funds. Omo onilu oni je o tu!
“Going forward, we’ll like to state that the Governor is a citizen and a public official who reserves the right to keep his good name and that of his family. The Governor also reserves the right to seek legal redress in the event that the demands above are not met within 24 hours from 25 October, 2019.”