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FCT Residents Decry Wike’s Style

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·        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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Wike, NSCDC Commandant To Lead GBV Awareness Walk Saturday

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Joel Ajayi

The Minister Of Federal Capital Territory Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, and other dignitaries will on Saturday lead the awareness campaign against gender-based violence and all forms of violence against humanity.

The awareness walk campaign was born out of poor reportage of the GBV in the capital city and needs urgent attention.

The advocacy which will kick start from the Saturday 25th of November to the 10th of December.

Speaking during a meeting with On Air Personalities (OAPs), influencers, and media personalities on Thursday in Abuja ahead of the 16 days of activism against GBV with the theme “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children’’ the pioneer Mandate Secretary for Women and Children Affairs in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs Adedayo Bejamins-Laniyi said FCT minister himself and other important personality in the country will lead the walk Ezenwo come Saturday.

She expressed her displeasure over the low or poor report of cases of gender-based violence in the Nigeria Capital city.

According to her, every one of the gender mainstreaming directions and objectives of the mandate for FCT women, adolescent girls, children, and PWDs within the classification of vulnerable groups is a targeted index for intervention and subvention.

“This will bring critical rescue to circumstances that have implicated their state of being and the rights of livelihood, life, safety, and security,’’ she said.

Benjamins-Olaniyi emphasized that the history of atrocities against women is a heist that brought about women having to bite, urging OAPs and reporters to always balance their reports as it concerns GBV.

She further explained that the 16 days of activism against GBV with the theme “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children’’ will begin on Saturday.

“We are going to have a walk; dignitaries like the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, the Commandant of the NSCDC, and others will be leading the walk.

“Also, the distinguished Sen. Ireti Kingibe has come out with an incredible `Orange Nigeria Project’. She wanted all of us in the gender field to create a movement and to work together.

“So our `Orange FCT Cloud’ will be flowing into the Orange Nigeria Project of the FCT, and as we do this, it is a non-partisan, non-tribal, non-political, non-religious, and non-gender agenda.

“It is just a message,” she said.

2023 APC Senatorial Aspirant in FCT Mrs. Laniyi Urge’s media to step up their reporting of cases in FCT.

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