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FCT Residents Decry Wike’s Style



·        Insecurity, infrastructure among concerns

·        As minister vows to complete abandoned projects

It is obvious that the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has stepped on toes in his commitment to sanitize the nation’s capital, DAVID MAXWELL and JIMOH IBRAHIM write.

From his take-over speech on August 16, the same day President Ahmed Bola Tinubu inaugurated his cabinet, where the minister had promised to “sanitize Abuja and make it safe for everyone,” he has continued to draw flaks with his every decision and action.

On Thursday, September 21, a notice was issued by the FCT’s Permanent Secretary, Olusade Adesola, the minister was said to have revoked the rights to the land allocations of owners who have failed to develop them, and this list included many who hitherto were seen as untouchables.

Although the minister later approved a three-month grace period for 189 titleholders who have obtained Building Plan approvals but are yet to commence development of their property, including 21 embassies and 168 others, many have continued to fault the decision to revoke these plots.

The decision to sack the heads of 21 agencies has further made many queries about Wike’s leadership style.

The decision of the FCT Minister, to sack the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company Managing Director, Najeed Abdulsalam, is currently causing objections as staff of the company are currently protesting the sack of the agency’s MD.

Also, the Head of Transparency International (Nigeria), and Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, has called upon Nyesom Wike, to clarify his reasons for the sudden dismissal of the heads of 21 government agencies.

“If FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike indeed made the decision to dismiss the heads of 21 agencies solely because their tenures had expired, then his actions can be deemed both constitutional and morally justifiable,” Rafsanjani stated, emphasizing the importance of respecting institutional continuity and the significance of tenure in public service.

He also pointed out the possibility of ulterior motives behind Wike’s decision, thus: “If Wike’s decision to sack the heads of 21 agencies was solely based on the expiration of their tenures, then it can be considered both constitutional and ethically justifiable. However, if it is discovered that Wike acted out of self-interest or with the aim of appointing individuals who are aligned with his own political agenda, then his actions would be considered inappropriate and unfair.

“It is essential for Governor Wike to transparently communicate his reasons for the mass sacking to the Nigerian public. Providing a comprehensive explanation will help to address concerns and ensure accountability in the decision-making process,” he stated.

Earlier, Charles Nwekeaku, a professor at the Department of New Public Management, Nasarawa State University, had said of these decisions: “Our government and its officials are known for always acting before thinking and also threatening and issuing warnings to the people. President Tinubu announced the fuel subsidy removal without first thinking about how to implement it. Wike is going the same way.

“How much of the Abuja master plan does Wike know? What I think Wike should have done first and foremost was to sit down, study the master plan, understand it, and thereafter set up a committee to advise him on what to do where the master plan has truly been distorted.”

Sokoduza Michael, a youth leader in Bassa Village who spoke to our reporter said: “While some of us both residents and aborigines are not very happy with the minister’s decisions so far, I think his actions have all been constitutionally right. For instance, why will persons who not only got allocations, but have also gotten certificates of Occupancy, Cs of O for over a decade not develop such plots in very well-developed areas and expect their plots not to be revoked, or why will heads of agencies who have stayed for eight years and above expect to continue? Are they the only ones fit for those positions?

“I think the FCT needs to be administered by a person like Barrister Wike who will not bother whose ox is gored in the course of his doing the right thing.”

Another resident in Bwari Area Council by name Ibrahim Patigi said: “If you sample the opinions of residents and indigenes across the FCT, you will discover that a vast majority do not like the leadership style of the new minister. What we expect him to do is to look into insecurity which is ravaging the territory, then deal decisively with the development of the satellite towns and the completion of all the abandoned projects instead of being almost confrontational with the masses he is expected to lead.”

In the meantime, Wike had on August 24, pledged to complete some ongoing projects in the territory over the coming months after undertaking an inspection tour of ongoing projects in the nation’s capital to ascertain their levels of completion.

He had expressed concern over the spate of abandoned and uncompleted projects in the FCT and emphasised the need to complete these projects to justify the huge funds invested in them.

The projects visited include the proposed FCTA Headquarters Complex at the Ministry Zone, Central Area, the residence of presiding officers of the National Assembly in the Three Arms Zone, as well as the residence of the Vice President at Aso Drive, Abuja.

Others are the rehabilitation of the Federal Secretariat at the Central Business District, Roads B6, B12, and Circle Road in the Abuja Central Area as well as the Abuja Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower also undergoing construction.

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AMAC names crescent after Akwa Ibom governor



By Philomina Attah
The Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), on Thursday in Abuja, unveiled a crescent named after the Governor of Akwa Ibom, Eno Umo

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the crescent, located in the Idu industrial area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), was named after Umo in recognition of his track record as governor.

The naming of the crescent is seen as a fitting tribute to the governor’s achievements and a testament to his contribution to the advancement of the area.

Speaking during the unveiling of the crescent, the Chairman of AMAC, Christopher Maikalangu, described the governor as a “son of the soil” whose achievements in road construction, agriculture, education, and other sectors have been remarkable.

The AMAC chairman, represented by the council’s Supervisory Councillor on Special Duties, Mr Emmanuel Inyang, praised the governor’s commitment to development and expressed gratitude for his contributions to the progress of the community.

“He has done very well within the shortest time of his tenure in office.

“In terms of road infrastructure, in terms of agriculture, in terms of education, in terms of other activities that he has been able to put in place.

“Arising from your numerous contributions to your fatherland, AMAC has deemed it fit to recognise your contribution and issue a ‘symbol of award of the street name’ in your honour in appreciation of your commitment to developing the country.

“We see this as an opportunity to encourage you to do more for the people of your state.

“We wish you more grace as you discharge your responsibility and give enviable service to your fatherland,” the chairman said.

Akariyere Tommy, the Transitional Chairman of Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, expressed gratitude to the council for recognising the governor’s contributions to the development of the area.

Tommy emphasised the importance of history and how naming the crescent after the governor would serve as testimony to his achievements.

He applauded the council members and staff for their dedication and support.

In his comments on behalf of the governor, Mr Jeremiah Efeh, the Director of Finance, Akwa Ibom Liaison Officer Abuja, thanked the council for finding the governor worthy of the honour. (NAN)

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