Wike Assumes Office, Vows to Step on Toes, Sanitize FCT …As Mahmoud Takes Charge As Minister of State

By: Wisdom Acka

Newly appointed Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, has vowed to restore sanity in Abuja and pull down all illegal structures to pave way for world class development of the Territory.

Wike, who made this vow in a maiden press conference during his resumption on Monday at the FCTA Secretariat called on Nigerians not to loose hope, because President Bola Tinubu was determined to make the country better.

He stated that the mandate given him and the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud was to bring back the glory of the FCT and ensure the dreams of its founding fathers.

The Minister solicited support of everyone, especially the media in the task of rebuilding the nation’s capital, saying that his administration would evolve long and short term solutions to all issues bedeviling the FCT.

Some of the short term solutions Wike pledged to tackle include the provision of security, even as he promised to support security agencies to make Abuja the most secure place in Nigeria.

According to him, it was the responsibility of the security agencies to identify the criminals and deal with him, while that of government was to provide the necessary tools and ensure they deliver.

The Minister noted that though there was hunger in the land, “We are not going to tolerate the issue where everywhere is turned to a market’, berating people selling under the umbrellas and constituting insecurity in the city; insisting that “security must map up strategy on how to move them out.”

On the issue of proliferated motor parks and bus stops across the city, Wike warned “The time is up. That was before now. Abuja has turned into a city, with refuse everywhere”.

Speaking on the problems of illegal developments and land racketeering, Wike said: “If you develop where you should not develop, the house must go down…the government has given land develop and they are speculating, the land is gone. We will take it and give to those who will develop. I will not be tired of revoking.”

Wike also warned those owing ground rents to pay up, saying it was a breach of agreement, “I don’t have to write you to pay. Ground rent is a source of revenue we need to work.”

Another area the Minister said his administration would focus on is that of abandoned buildings, which he also threatened to revoke and reallocate to those with capacity to develop.

On the menace of open grazing in the city, the new Minister disclosed that he would consult with the herdsmen to move out and graze their cattle in the hinterlands, not on grasses planted for city beatification.

Operation of motorcycles and tricycles in the city and other prohibited areas, the Minister said he would remove them and replace them with alternative means of transport in the city.

Commenting on the many ongoing projects in the Territory, Wike stated that he rather focus on one project and complete it than embark on many and leave them uncompleted, since such would be of no use to the people.

Wike informed that he would not be a Minister that would sit and wait for briefs in the office about projects, but would follow up and inspect work on site.

Decrying that Abuja streets were dark at night, the Minister directed he be furnished with relevant findings on why they are dysfunctional, whether the contractors were still being paid.

He also pledged to plug all revenue leakages and replicate the achievements he recorded in Rivers State in the FCT; calling on all to focus on their work and support President Tinubu to make Abuja a signature project in the next six months.