By Segun Odeleye
He’s only been in office for less than four months but it seems every step taken by Nigeria’s minister of police affairs, Alhaji Abdul Jelili Adesiyan, has been dogged by controversy. Right from his senate confirmation hearing when his nomination was strongly opposed by some south-west ministers as a result of severe allegations against him in the past, including murder, to his unsettling role in the recent Ekiti poll as alleged by the APC, it’s been one controversy after the other.
Recently, Adesiyan allegedly made a statement which was widely reported by the media. According to reports, he bragged that if not because of his current portfolio as a minister in the federal cabinet, he would have beaten up the former governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, a day before the state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, gubernatorial primaries.
The condemnation against Adesiyan was swift and widespread. A minister, people said, should never make those kind of utterances. Now Adesiyan has responded, saying he was quoted out of context by a section of the media.
In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Wale Akinola, the minister said it was unfortunate that some media organisations have jettisoned objectivity and professionalism in news reporting because of pecuniary gains. He said the public was being misled by sensational reporting.
Adesiyan claimed that he only explained to journalists who interviewed him in Osogbo on Saturday that Adeleke lied against him, and never said that he would beat him to death.
Here is an excerpt from his statement:
“It is very unfortunate that some media organisations are not objective in their reporting, based on their political interests. This trend is not only misleading but meant to pull down their supposed political enemies or opponents.
“The statement credited to me that I said I will beat Adeleke to death is not only untrue but a mere way of scoring a cheap political goal by some members of the All Progressives Congress, APC. I cannot deny whatever I say because before I utter any statement, I must have weighed its implications and I cannot equally fold my arms when anybody lies against me.”