CONCERNED by the growing stigmatisation of Dr. Muiz Banire, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment as being the cause of perceived untoward political intrigues in the state following his purported governorship ambition in 2011 elections, friends of the commissioner in a statement denied any such development and advised that those behind the plots should leave their friend alone.
In the a release signed by Mr. Bosun Jeje and Mr. Jide Gbadebo on behalf â€œFriends of Dr. Muiz Banire,â€ they claimed the commissioner had not at any point in time nursed a governorship ambition and that whatever impression created in that light is the machination of people who want to design such atmosphere for self-interest and personal aggrandizement.
Explaining that aspiration is no crime whatsoever, Banire, they insisted, has no intention and should be left to concentrate on his present assignment.
â€œAmbition, no matter how insignificant, as we all know, is a thing of choice. Except for the dead and those whose lives are completely void, everyone is expected to nurse one ambition or the other. Yet, it is a thing of choice. Ambition, in history has never been imposed on anyone. Even when people are cajoled into it, it can only be consented to by choice.
â€œThis is why the news making the rounds in the streets of Lagos about the alleged governorship ambition of our friend, Dr. Muiz Banire has continued to amaze us. An intellectual of note and lawyer by training, Banire, by all standards has a right to nurse ambition. Even if he does not command as much influence as we know he does now, he is still entitled to aspire to anything, first as a living creature and as a National of this great country.
â€œBut the truth is that he does have any such ambition. Some people, for whatever reasons have only chosen to run him down on the basis of ill-perceived and non-existent facts. We had thought it was a mere joke when this had first started. And so, we advised that he does to respond to such phony tales, especially when they lack any iota of truth. But as it is now, it has reached the peak of absurdity with a high level of bitterness hinged on the flimsiest of pretexts,â€ they said.
According to Banireâ€™s friends, â€œknowing our friend- while he would not condescend so low as to responding to such ill-conceived notion, designed essentially to rub-off on his person, career and influence on the political turf, we would not give in to such cheap antics devoid of the fear of God, let alone the principles of fairness as propounded by human justice.
â€œWe demand that these insinuations should stop forthwith as we would not condone any further blackmail. We would also not mind to take this up legally if there are further moves to embarrass the person of our friend on whose family, this embarrassment, campaign of calumny and mudslinging has begun to take undue toll. We do not intend to embrace the hard-line posture, but circumstances may compel us.
The friends, while appealing to Banire not to allow the antics of detractors affect him, his friends said: â€œOur friend and quintessential Lagos indigene has continued to devote his time, energy, intellect and influence to the development of the state, it is only imperative that he jettisons such nonsensical and sponsored pieces of articles to denigrate him and perhaps, bring him to public scorn. We equally appeal to members of the public to consider this as speaking the minds of our friend. We have known each other for over 30 years and can conveniently speak the minds of each other.
â€œIt is against this backdrop that we implore those behind these untoward campaigns not to consider our position as mere jokes and therefore abstain from their destructive mission of running our friend down. He has served this state meritoriously since the days of the former governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and has not ceased to long for a new Lagos even in his present mandate. He is not interested in the governorship of the state and this position is final,â€ they stated.